The Data Loss Nightmare: One Professional’s Story

In Case Studies by joseph gilbertLeave a Comment

Technology has made our work lives easier but has also introduced new problems, including the data loss nightmare. Professionals like you who rely on saved data – photos, documents, spreadsheets, and more – for your work can have your entire life thrown off balance simply through the loss of that data. Let me share with you one example.

Because this is a true story about the nightmare of data loss, we are going to refer to the victim as Jay in order to protect his professional identity. Jay like most of us used his laptop as an integral part of his work life. He kept client lists, client projects, invoices, and other important documents stored on the laptop so he could easily access those files on-the-go. Since his professional job kept him out of a traditional office most of the time, the laptop went everywhere with him and, therefore, he never really thought about what would happen if he suddenly lost all of that critical data.

Data Loss Nightmare, not a dream…

Then one day the unthinkable happened. While having a morning coffee at local bakery just as did 3 or 4 mornings every week, his laptop was stolen. The laptop had still been safely secured – or so Jay thought – in its case on the chair next to him. While Jay was distracted by a young woman asking for directions, the thief (probably working with the woman) slipped the case off the chair and was out the front door in seconds. By the time Jay finished talking to the woman and decided to pull out the laptop, the thief and Jay’s precious data were long gone.

Like most of us, Jay’s immediate reaction was to worry about the loss of the hardware itself. An expensive laptop isn’t easy to replace. But while Jay was waiting for the police to arrive so he could report the theft, he realized just how much he had lost: he had spreadsheets full of the names and contact information of potential clients he had been collecting for the last five years that was literally irreplaceable, he had his entire portfolio of work that helped him snag most of his recent clients and which represented nearly a decade of work in the field, he had multiple in-progress projects he had been working on for clients that would now need to be restarted from scratch, he had all of his paid and unpaid invoices stored on the hard drive too. Now all of that data – along with his laptop – was gone.

Unfortunately, Jay’s data loss nightmare did not end happily. His laptop was never recovered by the police nor was the thief ever apprehended. Chances are good more laptops and electronic equipment have been stolen by the same person and more people have had to experience similar problems. Jay was able to piece together some of his work and invoices that had been sent out through email but the effort was tedious and took precious time away from his work. Even with that, Jay still lost years worth of work from his portfolio and ended up spending valuable time redoing work for his clients.

Jay did learn a valuable lesson from this experience: you can’t always prevent the data loss nightmare from happening to you but you can be proactive and prepare for it so if it does happen at least your data can be protected. Hardware is replaceable but the data stored on it isn’t.