Many companies now invest significant time, effort, and money into collecting lots of data so that they are better able to serve their clients and customers and to help them make better commercial decisions, especially small-to-medium sized B2B businesses who serve an inherently more complex consumer base. As a modern business, you are probably up to your knees in data.

It is easy to see why modern businesses have a massive thirst for data, especially since Google has gone on record to say that “extremely large data sets… may be analyzed computationally to reveal patterns, trends and associations, especially relating to human behavior and interactions.”

What this means is that companies are constantly harvesting more and more data to remain competitive and ahead of the curve. All businesses thrive by satisfying consumer demands, and that is exactly what data lets you do.

Data, however, can easily become corrupted if mismanaged or targeted by outsiders. When data becomes corrupted, it can be recovered using specialist software or data recovery experts, however, avoiding data corruption in the first instance is always best.

Here are three simple ways to prevent data corruption:

#1: Be Selective with Data Collection

The more data you collect, the more likely it is to become corrupted. Gathering huge quantities of random data is a major problem for businesses who don’t know what they are doing or what they should be looking for. If you are collecting data from irrelevant data sets, then you are likely to run into problems further down the line.

Although the term “big data” is commonly tossed around, this does not mean collecting all the data you possibly can – it means collecting and analyzing large amounts of relevant data.

#2: Operate a Secure Processing Environment

The computers and servers where you process your data should be entirely separate environments from the rest of your company’s network. Why? Because this minimizes the chance of malware infections and other viruses corrupting your data.

If a machine is dedicated solely to the collecting and processing of data, then the chance of user error infecting it with a virus (i.e. by opening a suspicious email) is minimized. Also, ensure that all your machines have the best possible antivirus and antimalware solutions installed.

#3: Optimize Databases

Storing your data across multiple databases avoids corruption by preventing the database from getting too large. Your databases should, as a guide, be no larger than 500 MB. When you start cramming gigabytes upon gigabytes into one database, then the chance of data being corrupted by overwrites is multiplied.

Although using one database is easier, using multiple different ones prevents data corruption from occurring at the most basic level. In addition to this, regularly optimize your databases to purge pieces of information which you no longer need and are no longer of any use to you. This way, it is easier to access what’s relevant.

Data corruption is a part of modern day-to-day business operations and you need to know how to avoid it.

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