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Let me tell you a funny story.
We’ve been working with an outside research agency to write an eBook with new insights into ECAD data management. And based on the findings, I wanted to write a blog about how risky it is to just put your ECAD data on a network or shared drive with a file and folder structure. I thought I had a pretty solid first draft of that blog post written before going away for Christmas.
We were moving from one shared storage system to a new one. I always stored my files in a shared folder so everyone on the team could access and edit them, much like many groups manage their ECAD data today. Since I knew we were migrating systems during the holiday, I made a complete backup of my data locally and slept fine for two weeks while on vacation.
And when I came back... Gone.
Even today, I still don't know where it went.
Maybe it was the file names, perhaps my backup didn’t complete... I have no idea. But my blog article and my search ads for the eBook are gone. Trust me, the irony of losing a blog post about the risks of poorly managed data is not lost on me.
Oh well, I'll just rewrite the article and ads and have an ironic (I swear this is true, this actually happened and I'm actually redoing the work) story to tell. And believe me, I’ll be using a proper data management system instead of a network drive from now on.
A blog post, some ad copy, not really a big deal.
What if it was design data? What if it was your customer's design data? How long would it take to recreate it? How much shade would your coworkers throw your way if you deleted their data from a network drive and they had to spend the weekend recreating it? How embarrassing would it be to go back to the customer and say you lost their files and needed them again? At best, you’re spending time on non-value add tasks in looking for and recreating missing data. At worst, you may have a customer data or security concern and you might be spending non-value add time looking for a new job.
I thought I had a pretty fool-proof folder structure and file naming convention setup. I even had a local backup. And I still lost my files. Want to know the scariest part: I don't even know what all is missing. So far, I know I've lost a blog post and some ad copy. But maybe there's more...
So here we are, the week after I get back from Vacation. And I get an email from my boss. “I messed up” the subject line reads. He’d been editing a PPT on the network drive, deleted some slides he didn’t need, saved it (overwriting the original), and then realizing his mistake, proceeded to delete the whole PPT.
(Also a true story; I couldn’t make this up!)
No worries. Now that I have a data management system in place, I reverted back to the original and no one needs to know.
Anyways, check out this eBook about ECAD data management. And please, be better about your design data than I am with my Word documents.