[Infographic]: 63% of Google Apps Data Loss Is Due to User Error; 0% Is Due to Google

According to Google, Google Apps is used by more than 40 million people and a whopping 5,000 businesses are signing up for Google Apps EVERY day! Thus it would appear that – despite what some anti-cloud, anti-Saas pundits tell you – a large number of people are perfectly comfortable letting Google store their data. No surprise there, as our own internal research shows that Google has never lost any Google Apps data.

You read that right: The company that makes its living backing up Google Apps data (among other things) just copped to Google never losing Google Apps data.

Zero. Bupkus. Nada. None.

So what is Backupify still doing here, right? We said Google has never lost Google Apps data (so far as we’ve found). Plenty of Google Apps data has gone missing. And it’s Google Apps users that are responsible for the bulk of the losing. Our research shows that the #1 reason for data loss within Google Apps is user error – as in 63% of the losses.

Below we’ve developed a nice, shiny infographic that lays out how data is lost in Google Apps – and how you can prevent said losses from happening. (Hint: Stop writing your Google Apps password on a Post-It note taped to your monitor.) The infographic is based on our own Google Apps Data Loss report, which we developed by auditing a random sample of quality posts from the Google Apps Help Forums.

For those of you forwarding this graphic and/or whitepaper to your boss, here’s the marketing-speak to use:

“This report identifies the leading causes of Google Apps data loss (all incidents of data loss were found to be beyond Google’s control) and the tools and policies available to bring peace of mind to Google Apps deployments.”


  • 89% of Google Apps data access issues were related to data loss (Oh crap, it’s gone!). Only 11% were related to data availability (Oh crap, it’s down!).
  • Exactly 0% of all data access issues were Google’s fault.
  • User error causes 63% of all Google Apps data loss problems – by far the most common cause.
  • Hacked accounts represented a mere 8% of all data loss cases.

Click here to view a larger version of this infographic:

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  • http://twitter.com/findingnewo Owen Williams

    You say Google didn’t lose any data? Have you guys been reading the news or are you just trying to advertise your product?

    Example #1: http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-20037554-93.html”Google said today a storage software update was responsible for causing some Gmail users to lose access to their e-mail da”

    Example #2: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/04/26/personalized_homepage_malfunction/
    “Google users are going ape crap after settings and data they’ve amassed over months have suddenly gone missing from their personalized homepage”

    Example #3: http://www.geek.com/articles/geek-pick/500000-gmail-accounts-go-offline-some-users-lose-all-their-data-20110228/
    “This is the second issue to happen with one of the Google Apps recently. Last Wednesday Google Calendar suddenly lost all its events for some users”

    Example #4: http://www.chromeattack.com/2011/02/28/google-loses-150000-gmail-users-data-from-a-bug-cloud-computing-risks/
    “For some 150,000 users of Google’s Gmail, they woke up to missing emails and chat logs. ”

    Example #5:http://blogs.computerworld.com/17897/google_apps_and_gmail_outage_outrage_problem_resolved
    “Google’s Gmail fail is still causing users anguish, as many as 35,000 consumer Gmail and Google Apps users have been affected since Sunday.”

    Before you make your advertisments and do your “research” internally, make sure you actually Google it.


    News Editor

  • http://twitter.com/backupify Backupify

    Hi Owen, Thanks for your comment here, however, there seems to be some miscommunication between the points in our post and the articles you link to. The purpose of both our infographic and this post was to highlight that, despite occasional instances of brief service unavailability, Google has never been responsible for data loss. In fact, the majority of data loss is due to user error – a.k.a. watch that delete button! Whenever there has been on outage on Google Apps, Google has been able to restore service for its users. Google has multiple copies of your data, in multiple data centers, ensuring nothing will ultimately be lost.  As for the links you posted, all of them suggest the following: Example #1: Google mentions that the emails were never lost and they were working on restoring the data soon – which they, in fact, did. Example #2: This article was updated on April 27 to indicate that Google says it had resolved the problem and was able to restore user settings. Users posting on Google discussion groups confirm this.Example #3: While this was a significant period of time for data unavailability, Google was able to restore every user’s emails within a few days and operated normally afterwards – therefore no ultimate data loss.Example #4: Google had restored many accounts already and was in the process of restoring the rest. Example #5: Google engineers restored service to about a third of those affected at the time the article was written – and estimated to have everyone else up and running soon after – which they did. Google mentions that emails were never lost and they were going to be able to restore everything.

  • mundo llopis

    I don’t know about this 0%, I would qualify all Unknown and Unresolved as Google Apps problems.

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  • freeserviceequalsnosupport

    Try Calling Them – Google might get back in about two weeks

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  • Alanna Shaffer

    Nice post. These are also helpful in knowing major causes of data loss http://bit.ly/1HLp7tO.