If you are a manager or IT admin and want to stay on top of log management, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Thousands of others use a five-pronged technique for making sure that files get created when needed, are stored properly, reports aren’t ignored, and that the entirety of analysis to review pertinent practices. What’s this mean for large and small companies? It means that those in charge, at various stages of the logging function, can follow a checklist to at least make sure they haven’t forgotten any major pieces of the puzzle. Here’s a quick review of the five items.

Don’t Forget to Do the Job

It might seem counter-intuitive, but failing to do the right amount of logging is a common problem. It routinely shows its face in the form of inadequate or improper systems, ones that aren’t suited to the company’s particular needs. There’s even potential for not meeting bare minimums of industry or legal compliance requirements. That could mean sanctions, bad publicity, and dire consequences. When in doubt, always set your logging standard higher than the industry minimum. Not only will your organization avoid ethical and legal issues, it will also get the most out of your management practices. After all, that’s what logging is all about.

Emphasize Good and Bad Results

It’s not enough to follow log management best practices only to focus on negatives. While every manager believes in learning from mistakes, it’s also vital to learn from things you do correctly. The results of logging reveal all sorts of things about a company’s day-to-day IT practices. Don’t be blind to the things you’re doing right. They can teach you just as much about how to create, store, and review log files as the mistakes you make along the way.

Review Everything

When IT pros use the right log management tools, it’s possible to generate massive reports. One of the pitfalls of all the data is information freeze. That’s another form of what accounting auditors call paralysis by analysis, or being so overwhelmed with information that you have no time to examine it all. There’s supposed to be a purpose to logging, but when you’re generating too much data, maybe it’s time to review the entire system and remove redundancies.

Store Data Appropriately

If you can’t store all your files, you’re wasting time and money. Storing data as soon as it’s generated, and doing so in a secure, consistent way, is the backbone of what log management really is. Whenever you discover a glitch in this part of the cycle, either reduce the size and detail of what you log, or boost your storage capacity. The main goal should be to store everything in an organized, logical way.

Don’t Ignore Relevant Revelations

When a log report reveals something of interest to a particular department, it’s imperative that the right people are informed. One of the major problems with huge data caches is that important things are sometimes ignored. This is the ultimate form of corporate waste, considering all the time, effort, and expense that goes into generating logged data results.