Data Storage Definition

  • Frequently Misused Term (some initiatives are scoped to what should be considered “Information Storage”)
  • Sub-Discipline of “Data Management”
  • Information Types: Structured

Data storage can refer to any electronic storage of structured data. The term is often used in reference to archival or tiered storage, or data that is set aside for non-critical purposes. Data storage techniques often focus on cost reduction and may be related to backup activities. Data Storage is a frequently misused term and should be replaced with “Information Storage” where it matches the reality of the practice.

InfoBOK v1.0

Data Storage Key Points

  1. Data storage is focused on structured data.
  2. Data storage relates to optimization and availability of resources.
  3. Data storage is often established in conjunction with data backup capabilities.
  4. Data storage is often the label utilized for readily accessible data, whereas data backup and tiered storage are terms for less frequently utilized data.
  5. Tiered storage is often leveraged as a strategy for data storage where data can be categorized as online, nearline, and offline.
  6. Online data is readily accessible and available.
  7. Nearline data is accessible but may take slightly longer to retrieve or have longer load times than online data.
  8. Offline data is often inaccessible to most, with availability to a select few but may take some time.
  9. Data categorization of online, nearline, and offline should be established and tiered based on organizational requirements.

Data Storage Overview

Data Storage Tiering

Data Storage is the tiered management of stored data to reduce cost and maximize efficiency. While often partnering with Backup capabilities and practices, Data Storage should ensure that data is available in as timely a manner matching its’ value to the organization. Some data may be stored off-site depending on organizational requirements.

Information Professionals executing on Data Storage initiatives should ensure they are taking guidance from the business, especially in making determinations of the value of particular repositories of data. Data access is often used as a substitute for data importance. However, this is an incorrect assumption. How quickly the data needs to be accessed is not directly proportional to how often the data is accessed. This is a common mistake in Data Storage efforts.

Some data may have a high business value, but not have an immediate access requirement. Conversely, data with a lower value may need immediate access. This is what makes Data Storage efforts complex and what differentiates it from Backup and Business Continuity efforts. Although they are different practices, they should definitely confer and discuss their assessment findings with one another in regards to data importance and access requirements.

Additional Resources

(These additional resources are provided by the community and while we make every effort to ensure only high quality resources are included, we cannot guarantee the authenticity, safety, or quality of these resources. Proceed at your own risk.)

Submit New Resource

Information Coalition Resources

Some resources are available only to Professional Members or Standard Members (free).

The Intersection Between Information Governance and Data Privacy & Security – Linn Freedman

Noted Privacy Expert, Linn Freedman, shares her thoughts on the current state of privacy and security.


  • What is the current state of privacy in the US
  • How can your organization better prepare for future privacy requirements
  • What is coming next with regards to privacy and security

The Battle for Your Data: On Premises vs The Cloud – Julie Colgan

This video is available to Standard or Professional Members.
Become a Standard Member for free or Login.

Julie Colgan asks – It’s your corporate data and it’s increasingly being hosted in the Cloud. As the battle continues between the Cloud and On-Premise, what should your evaluation criteria be for determining what’s right for your company? Can anyone resist the pull of the cloud?


  • Why not go full Cloud?
  • What are your evaluation criteria?
  • How can you make the best decisions for your corporate data?

Information Governance Considerations for Storage and Data Retention – Jim Koziol

This video is available to Standard or Professional Members.
Become a Standard Member for free or Login.

Organizations are increasingly trying to understand how to connect their IT capabilities and IG capabilities. One area where many organizations are seeing advances are through their storage and data retention programs. Join Jim Koziol as he unravels the considerations of storage and data retention when approached from an information governance perspective.


  • Understand the benefits of the Cloud
  • Understand the requirements of Cloud data
  • Know the best practices in migrating data
The Information Governance Conference 2018