Creating the right data map with the right information takes time, patience, perseverance and pull. A data map that is hastily put together and is missing information will only provide cursory support to counsel, and instead may end up providing fodder to opposing counsel. Some have even said that is better to not have a data map, claim ignorance and hope for leniency than to state that you have a data map and produce an incomplete, half-baked and inadequate one and anger the judge.

Many organizations have hundreds of business applications, systems, utilities, network file shares and collaboration sites (such as SharePoint, Wikis, etc.), not to mention the potential goldmine of data stored in backup tapes, archival systems, PST files and offsite storage. Daunting as it may seem, creating a data map is actually twice as difficult as you thought. Really, simply e-mailing a “questionnaire” to the IT or operational folks asking for a list of applications, systems and platforms within the organization may not produce optimal results. Instead, a holistic approach to the creation of the data map must be undertaken.

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