Why A Data Governance Policy Can Help Tame Big Data

Yes, data is growing at ridiculous rates, and yes, organizations are – eventually – expected to benefit greatly from combining Big Data and analytics to gain competitive advantages, but at the end of the day, this is just history repeating itself, said Chris Grossman, Senior VP of Enterprise Applications, Rand Secure Archive. “Almost nothing we’re talking about is new… none of these problems or trends just started happening.”

Organizations are doubling data sets every two years, but that’s not a big deal, he said. “That’s always been the case, a given.”

A division of Rand Worldwide, the company is the developer of what it calls North America’s first and only Autonomy-powered data archive, compliance and discovery technology for SMBs. Last month it released the results of survey that found 82% of US and Canadian respondents know they face external regulatory requirements but 44% still don’t have a defined data governance policy. Almost half of those surveyed said they would be taking some action on data governance, either an implementation or discussions about doing so.

Data governance has moved from nice to have to must have, said Grossman. For the first time, a survey has uncovered the monetary value companies are placing on implementing a data governance solution – annual budgets of between $200,000 and $500,000.

This is a drastic shift from just 12 months ago when companies investing in this would have been see as early adopters, he said. If companies are not investing in this space within the next 12 months, they’ll be seen as laggards, cautioned Grossman.

According to Forrester Research analyst Michele Goetz in a recent blog about an IBM-sponsored study, data governance is about protect and serve. ‘Manage security and privacy while delivering trusted data.’ It’s about catering to the speed, access and education of business stakeholders to make good decisions about what to trust if they look outside of IT to support their data driven initiatives, she wrote.

The July survey found that you can’t do Big Data without information and integration governance (IIG). A lack of competency and success with IIG can actually hinder the ability to develop, roll out, and get value from big data investments, stated Forrester.

‘In the end, the difference of today’s data governance in the world of big data is that protect and serve are equal,’ said Goetz. ‘The voice of the business will not be stifled.’

Five years ago the people driving the data governance policies in Rand’s traditional AEC (Architecture Engineering and Construction) base were the users, the people who created the data. What’s happened over the last few years is that IT found only 2% of data at least 12 months old is ever touched again, said Grossman. “The majority of data is not accessed again, so IT got more involved.”

According to the 2012 Compliance, Governance, and Oversight Counsel Summit, only 25% of data in an enterprise has current business value. While1% has to be preserved for litigation hold, and 5% has to be managed to cover compliance requirements, the vast majority of all data, 69%, has no value whatsoever.

So the trend Rand sees is not about data growth, but that the authors of the data are no longer the owners of the data. Data governance is the way to go, and it’s better to do it sooner rather than later, said Grossman.

“Whether you do it today or do it tomorrow, you’re eventually going to do it. Get educated and informed on this… but it will cost less today than it will to do it tomorrow.”

Under The Hood

Creating a data governance policy that addresses the unique challenges of big data includes:

-the special considerations big data brings to the creation of a data governance policy such as: managing structured and unstructured data; managing all file types and file formats; managing the exponential grow of data; and how the lack of a strong data governance policy can damage a big data program;

-the most essential elements of a data governance policy to help effectively harness the potential of big data such as: creating a policy that organizes the data and makes it easy to search, view and analyze by both IT and business users; ensuring the data governance policy addresses the industry’s regulatory controls and company’s own internal controls to manage the risk of big data; and putting in place a data governance policy that provides clarity around who owns different types of data, who can access that information, how that data is used, and how the information is managed.


Author: Steve Wexler

Share This Post On


  1. Why A Data Governance Policy Can Help Tame Big ... - […] Yes, data is growing at ridiculous rates, and yes, organizations are – eventually – expected to benefit greatly from…
  2. Why A Data Governance Policy Can Help Tame Big ... - […] Why A Data Governance Policy Can Help Tame Big Data IT Trends & Analysis (IT-TNA) While1% has to be…

Leave a Reply