Data: facts and statistics collected together for reference or analysis; or, the quantities, characters, or symbols on which operations are performed by a computer, being stored and transmitted in the form of electrical signals and recorded on magnetic, optical, or mechanical recording media.

Data. It’s just four letters long, but the word “data” pretty much encompasses all the information available about your company. It’s facts, figures, analysis, employee information, customer details, and just about everything else you need to have at hand to run your company efficiently.

That’s why it’s such a huge deal when it disappears. Loss of data is every business’s worst nightmare, but it happens, and usually when least expected. No one plans for their IT systems to fail or for a computer to die mid-project or – worse yet – for your data to be hijacked, but technical problems and malicious hackers are a reality of our computer-driven world.

No business ever needs to be put in the position of losing valuable data if they have a suitable data recovery service in place. But a host of surveys conducted in the last few years note that about one-third of businesses have no data recovery strategy in place! Furthermore, according to a study by Deloitte Touche Ross, only about 10 percent of companies survive a major data loss event when they have no data recovery services in place.

A similar report showed that of those who had what they believed to be a solid recovery plan in place, about 33 percent failed to “respond adequately” to that event, which likely means they may have simply had the wrong data recovery service.

What causes data loss?

Studies show that nearly half of all data loss is caused by hardware outages. That’s not a surprise. How many of us have seen the “black screen of death” on our own home computers at one time or another? It’s not a pleasant sight, and while it seemingly spells disaster for most individuals, it’s a problem that’s hugely compounded when the hardware failure happens to a business and its all-encompassing data is threatened.

Power outages can also be responsible for data loss as can environmental disasters, including earthquakes, storms, and other unexpected but uncontrollable events. And, finally, human error is behind some data loss, with employees accidentally deleting crucial files and other similar happenings.

And, of course, there’s malware and hackers. Sadly, many have lost data to the despicable methods of those who purposely create trouble.

But whatever the reason, data loss is disastrous and without data backup, the company suffers and – as studies showed – may not recover.

Not all data recovery services are created equal

The term “data recovery” refers to the ability to recall data from any storage media following loss for any reason. It’s a system that needs to be in place BEFORE disaster strikes, so data recovery is something that should be discussed and planned for by those changed with the task of handling a company’s technology.

In general, there are two methods of data recovery. The first is data recovery software that can be installed on your system. It’s usually ample for individuals or maybe small businesses. But the more reliable way to back-up your data and restore it quickly in the event of loss is to hire an expert in data recovery services.

Software options may indeed seem more cost-effective at first glance but may not have the ability to solve all issues, particularly when the data corruption is complex. As a matter of fact, many users of basic recovery software find that they eventually need to call an expert anyway, simply because their program does not have the capacity to solve their problem.

Businesses that already employ a computer services company to maintain their network should consider reaching out to the experts there to discuss options for data recovery services. These are the people that know your business IT needs best and can consult with you about the best possible next steps to take towards protecting your data.

For those who haven’t used a computer services company to set up their system, it’s perfectly acceptable to reach out to one when it’s time to think about data loss and recovery. Most will review your systems and offer a free consultation that will outline in detail the options that will work best for a company your size. Such consultations include initial cost and cost per month (if any) as well as information on how your in-house IT employees will be involved and how to access the recovery service when disaster strikes.