By Huw Edwards
Oct 21, 2016
I would like to take some time to tell you a quick story on how I literally “ate our own dog food” a few weeks ago when running into some issues recovering an important Excel file. Quick hint, Jungle Disk came to the rescue!
I was working with one of our vendors on a refresh of our financial model as part of 2017 planning. The firm, Flightpath Finance, and I were using Google Drive to collaborate on the model updates.
For reference during the planning process, I copied an Excel file that contained some useful metrics into the Google Drive. Unfortunately, the file contained a number of external links to other data sources and would display errors when Jaakko, Flight Path Founder and CEO, attempted to open the file. As I thought this was just a copy of the original file, I opened the Excel doc and broke all formula links to external sources and saved the file. At some point during this whole process, I renamed the file in the Google Drive to more clearly describe the contents. All good, or so I thought…
Fast forward a week, I was reviewing the original metrics document to answer a question from one of our investors. Simple, except I couldn’t find the file… It turns out I hadn’t copied the file into Google Drive I had actually moved it. And I had killed all the Excel formula links in the version that sat in Google Drive. At this point, I didn’t panic as Google Drive has a ‘revision history’ feature. I attempted to find and restore the original version of the document with links intact. Sounds simple, right? Except it wasn’t anywhere to be found. There was no earlier version. This was a problem. I’m a busy guy, rebuilding the formulas was going to be a multi-hour endeavour and I wanted to get a quick response back to my investor.
It dawned on me - the ‘non-technical’ CFO aka “Bean counter” as our lead operations engineer likes to call me - that I have Jungle Disk installed and running on my laptop. Within two minutes, I had identified the file in my backup history from the day before I had moved it and restored it to its original location. Phew!
I still don’t know why the Google Drive revision history failed but I suspect it had something to do with the file renaming at the same time as the file changes were saved.
Even with the easy-to-use collaboration tools available such as Google Drive, it is imperative to have a secure, safe second copy of your mission critical data. As a CFO and small business owner, this is certainly the case and I’m proud to “eat our own dogfood” on a daily basis.
For more information check out our post here on why you need to backup Google Drive.