Re: Ivory tower IT
"Maybe come down from the tower occasionally and meet the real world of personal data scattered in Excel spreadsheets, Word documents, pdfs and for all I know coded into C# objects."
If this is the primary data storage then they have other problems already. If this is secondary storage - look for it particularly in Sales and Marketing or possibly HR - it needs to be dealt with. Audit the business and delete any of it you find. Permanently. Even if it means going through old file system backups (not the same problem as RDBMS as regards data integrity). In the real world it's this sort of secondary storage in the hands of users that's most likely to cause damage.