Using Information Governance to Create Revenue

February 7, 2017 by Andrew Borgschulte
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We often talk about how information governance can improve compliance, mitigate legal risk and protect in the case of a data breach. What isn't discussed as much as it should be is how information governance can truly help an organization create new revenue.

Information Governance and Big Data

Big data (and the mining of it for business use) continues to show results for companies. However, this big data is useless if it is not being properly governed and managed. For a business to effectively use big data insights, they must first have complete visibility of all that data.

Information governance expert Jeffrey Ritter makes an important note about what data is being fed into a company's big data analytics technology: "The engines are performing crunching on the numbers, but they can only crunch numbers that filter in correctly -- the data has to qualify, it has to meet the rules that are useful for the engine to compare to find the patterns, and if the data does not qualify, it is embargoed -- it is quarantined or it is rejected."

By setting up proper information governance and the rules around it, the data can be used to actually drive new revenue by uncovering new business intelligence instead of becoming ROT.

Information Governance and Business Intelligence

Business intelligence (BI) is a technology-driven process for analyzing data and presenting actionable information to help corporate executives, business managers and other end users make more informed business decisions.

BI encompasses a variety of tools, applications and methodologies that enable organizations to collect data from internal systems and external sources, prepare it for analysis, develop and run queries against the data, and create reports, dashboards and data visualizations to make the analytical results available to corporate decision makers as well as operational workers.

The potential benefits of business intelligence programs include accelerating and improving decision making; optimizing internal business processes; increasing operational efficiency; driving new revenues; and gaining competitive advantages over business rivals. BI can also help companies identify market trends and spot business problems that need to be addressed.

The laundry list of potential benefits encompassed within business intelligence, namely driving new revenue, cannot be optimized without complete information governance. The old phrase "garbage in, garbage out" applies extremely well here. An organization cannot expect to acquire accurate and actionable BI without first laying down the proper IG framework.

Taking Action

Now that we've laid down how information governance can impact an organization's revenue, we need to distribute this message to the C-Level executives that will be involved in the approval process of a new or expanded IG initiative. Below is an excerpt from a recent blog post with some excellent advice:

Explain What’s In It For Them

It’s not all about you! It’s about what’s in it for the C-Level executive. In order to understand what’s in it for the C-Level, you need to have a basic understanding of how you can impact the business. It’s not necessary for you to be a subject matter expert on business management, but you had better be able explain how you can impact the business.

For example, what drives profit to your business? What keeps these C-Level executives awake at night? These are topics you as an information governance professional must understand and be able to articulate. Clearly explain how information governance can put more money into their pockets by impacting the business.

Own The Initiative

Once you have been able to successfully show the value and impact of information governance to the C-Level, you must own the outcome of this initiative. If you have been given the “green light”, then don’t hesitate to move forward. The last thing these executives need is another dependent. Remember, as an IG professional, you were hired by the organization to do a job.

Yes, you may need to put your sales cap on and sell your IG initiative, but after you have done so, it’s time to be an in-house leader and prove that you will own the outcome. It’s not practical to engage with executives every step of the way to get their blessing. If you do, your initiative has a high likelihood of failure. Be proactive and as Nike says “Just Do It.”

Unfortunately there is no Rosetta Stone or Google translation option for learning the language of the C-Suite. You will have to roll up your sleeves, put your sales cap on and drive this one home.

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Topics: Information Governance Program, Big Data