Hierarchies in Data Creation, Storage and Archival

Guest Blog by David H. Cote, CEO of Young Minds Inc 
We used to talk a lot about data hierarchies back when. Now days the idea of hierarchies in data have gone the way of all old technologies and random access storage is the current king. And while random access storage is king, the fact is, that when it comes to solving the problems of networked data management, we should look back at the old fashioned idea of hierarchies.
There are five primary hierarchies used in data creation that identify the specific data. These hierarchies are needed by any business:
1.      Time – is the most basic of every data set identifier. The date, time of creation and version numbers are the often kept meta data associated with a specific data set.  The importance of knowing when a data set was created is an integral to the retention of compliant records.
2.      Ownership – knowing who created data is hierarchies are vital to the process of keeping data traceable and is commonly kept when data manipulation might be done by several people in an organization.
3.      Physical --records of how and where the data set was created including the computer on which it was created, where it was modified and where it has been kept and altered are important to the identification of the data set as it ages. This is particularly important related to legal records of transaction processes and contractual agreements.
4.      Access and Permissions - applied to data at the point of creation and beyond. They are often ignored in the process of managing data sets before to and even after archival. Who has had access to data, which can comprise as much as seventy percent of a business’s asset base is one of the most important hierarchies for data security and validation
5.      Protection -- Knowing what security and protections have been utilized are essential: What protection methods were utilized? Where were they applied? Who has been given access? What copies have been created, when and by whom? Finally if they were destroyed by policy or accident;  when and how that destruction was carried out, under whose authority the destruction was implemented and verification of the complete destruction of all copies
So you can see that hierarchies related to the processes of data creation, retention and retrieval s are not just “so last year” after all. They are a critical management tool for data storage, archival and retention.