Data Proliferation

Data Proliferation

Data Proliferation Jonathan Poland

Data proliferation refers to the rapid growth of data, often resulting in a large amount of replicated and low-quality data. This can be costly to manage and may pose compliance and operational risks to an organization. While it may be necessary to analyze this data in order to understand its structure, sources, and uses, it may ultimately have little value to the organization and can be difficult to discard. The following are illustrative examples of data proliferation.

Customer Data

It is common for multiple systems in an organization to maintain customer data. Such data is commonly out of sync between systems with no clear single source of truth. This can cause operational failures such as sending a bill to the wrong address.


Knowledge workers tend to create a lot of documents that get checked into a document management system. In many cases, such documents become completely unused with time but are retained as a precaution.


Communications such as emails can gather at the rate of hundreds per employee per day. Most communications lose their value almost immediately but often are retained for an extended period of time.


Backups of data, documents and communications often need to be retained in case something important was deleted from the source systems. If someone deletes a critical email, the only copy may be in a backup from a particular day last year. As such, backups are commonly stored for long periods of time. This can consume considerable resources despite the fact that backups are rarely used.

Transactional Data

Transactional data such as market trades and website purchases can grow extremely quickly. Transactional data is often viewed as valuable for historical research. For example, it is common to look at patterns in stock trades going back decades.

Social Data

Data that is shared by people on a public or private social network. Often viewed as valuable for purposes such as market research and machine learning.

Sensors & Machines

Machine and sensor generated data. Sensors have become cheap to the extent than they can be embedded in everyday objects in great numbers. Such data may be generally less valuable than human generated data. For example, video of a train tunnel or data from a tire pressure sensor isn’t interesting for long. Nevertheless, sensor data potentially represents a gigantic source of data that is far larger than all other sources combined.

Learn More
Product Experience Jonathan Poland

Product Experience

Product experience refers to the overall value that a product or service provides to customers based on their perceptions as…

Sales Promotion Jonathan Poland

Sales Promotion

Sales promotion refers to the use of various incentives and discounts to encourage customers to make a purchase. These promotions…

Customer Needs Anlaysis Jonathan Poland

Customer Needs Anlaysis

Customer needs analysis is the process of identifying and understanding the needs and wants of customers in order to develop…

Law of Demand Jonathan Poland

Law of Demand

The law of demand is a fundamental principle in economics that states that, all other factors being equal, the quantity…

Technology Skills Jonathan Poland

Technology Skills

Technology skills refer to the talents and abilities related to information technology and physical technology, such as machines. This includes…

Government Contract Timeline 150 150 Jonathan Poland

Government Contract Timeline

A government contract award timeline can vary depending on the specific country, agency, and procurement process in question. In general,…

Direct Marketing Jonathan Poland

Direct Marketing

Direct marketing is a type of marketing that involves communicating directly with potential customers in order to generate a response…

Performance Risk Jonathan Poland

Performance Risk

Performance risk refers to the potential negative consequences that a business may face if a product, service, program, or project…

Human Behavior Jonathan Poland

Human Behavior

Behavior is a pattern of actions or reactions that varies depending on factors such as context and mood. It is…

Content Database

Customer Service Techniques Jonathan Poland

Customer Service Techniques

Customer service is any person-to-person exchange between a business and a customer. Developing successful customer service is essential for any…

Contract Risk Jonathan Poland

Contract Risk

Contract risk refers to the potential negative consequences that a business may face as a result of issues or problems…

Growth Strategy Jonathan Poland

Growth Strategy

A growth strategy is a plan to increase or improve some KPI, like revenue, profit, subscribers, etc.

Business Assets Jonathan Poland

Business Assets

In business, assets are useful property that are owned by the company. These assets can be divided into three categories:…

Knowledge Value Jonathan Poland

Knowledge Value

Knowledge value is the value that is derived from knowledge, skills, and information. It can be a measure of the…

What is Price Stability? Jonathan Poland

What is Price Stability?

Price stability refers to the maintenance of relatively stable prices over time. This is typically measured by the rate of…

Autonomous Technology Jonathan Poland

Autonomous Technology

Autonomous technology refers to technology that is capable of functioning independently and adapting to changing real-world conditions without human intervention.…

Lead Qualification Jonathan Poland

Lead Qualification

Lead qualification is the process of identifying the most promising sales leads and focusing sales efforts on those leads that…

Quality Objectives Jonathan Poland

Quality Objectives

Quality objectives are specific, measurable targets that organizations set in order to improve the quality of their products or services.…