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Data that goes nowhere is dead data

From Mike Gancarz:

While data is kept on whatever kind of storage media, eventually it must go somewhere. Data sitting on a desk diminishes value. For data to remain alive and valuable, it must move occasionally. Otherwise it should be archived and deleted.

Data that goes nowhere is dead data. 

If you expect to move your data easily, you must make it portable. Any impediments to data movement, where unintentional or by design, place limits on your data's potential value. The longer your data must sit somewhere, the less it will be worth when it finally arrives. The problem is, if your data is not in a format that is useful to its destination, it must be converted. That conversion takes time. Every second spent in data conversion eats away at your data's worth.

CNN, the Cable News Network, won top honors in 1991 for its coverage of the Persian Gulf War. They provided the world with graphical scenes of the conflict and they did it quickly. Many people rushed home to their television sets every night to watch the events unfold. Would CNN coverage have been as riveting if they spent several days converting the videotape from beta to VHS, airmailed the tapes to Atlanta, and showed them only during prime time?

So it is with your data. If it takes extra time to convert your data from a nonportable format to move it, the data will not be worth as much when it gets there. The world moves much too quickly to wait for your data.

"The Unix Philosophy" by Mike Gancarz, p. 56-57.

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