Recently I was in California shooting the latest Data Unknown.  I was with my good friend Marc Farley (@gofarley) and the title of the episode was “Can we live without data?”  Marc proceeded to tell me a story that I am sure has happened to quite a few of us and it was fitting for this episode.  See the quick story here:

Losing your phone sucks, and it especially sucks when your 6,500 miles from home.  As Marc points out, these devices are SO powerful these days and we tend to take advantage of all the features they offer us; the freedom to call from anywhere any time (obviously), all of our contacts, our calendars, pictures, our GPS systems, password apps, and credit card payment capabilities to name a few.  Think about taking your phone and leaving it home for just one day and heading out the door.  You soon realize that this small device contains most of the data that you need to run your day to day life.  It put the question, “Can we live without data?” into perspective.  It’s not just about the 64gb of capacity your phone holds, it’s all the data that sits behind the applications that you use every day; GPS, sales tools, etc… all have 100’s of terabytes if not petabytes of information.

Your phone is just one example of a window into your data.  Think about if the guy that stole Marc’s phone had grabbed his briefcase instead and then not only was his phone in there but so was his laptop? These windows into our data are so important to us and how we operate day to day, it brings up the question, how do we protect ourselves from a loss like this?  Being more vigilant is one thing, but if someone wants to steal your stuff, like in Marcs case, then they will. 

It seems like ensuring that the things on your phone are synced with the cloud makes a great deal of sense.  Now, all you need to be able to do is replace your device, costly as that may be, with another but the cost of the device is peanuts when compared to the loss of your data.

I have been advising and working with folks for over 2 decades on putting a value on data.  Its not easy for corporations because they may not know what the data is or what it means to the business but when it’s a photo of your child scoring the winning goal in their latest sporting event that you will never be able to capture again, its priceless.  Can you ‘live’ without it? Sure, but do you want to?