Published June 6, 2016
Gathering massive amounts of data is easier than ever. The Get Control of Your Big Data Before Getting Buried Alive session at Digital BrainFest 2016, which included our own Ray Vazquez and Dennis Middleton, addressed ways to effectively harness data and make it work for your company, including managing data-related risks. As the panel of experts discussed, many companies have stores of “volatile data,” such as strategic intelligence data on customers. Think of this volatile data like dynamite; it must be handled carefully to prevent it from blowing up and negatively disrupting your business – as through a data loss incident. Approaching your data and business strategy together instead of separate is a key way to get data under control and working for your organization, according to the speakers.
Why Data Strategy Starts at the Top: Educating Executives and Creating CultureData collection on its own doesn’t offer much value, so data must be combined with a strategy for using it. Educating company leaders is key, as many executives currently “look at data as a foreign language,” agreed the panel. As one speaker said:
Until [companies] can turn big data into “kitchen speak,” the majority of executives who are trying to drive a strategy will not truly understand the “language” of big data.The solution? Make data a language your executives can understand. “Don’t be afraid to make people think about how data impacts the business strategy,” said a panelist. Priority one is defining who owns the data. Here are some of the other key questions our panelists recommend you use to assess your company’s approach:
- Do you feel comfortable with your data?
- Do you have access to the data directly?
- Can you trust your data?
- Data Governance and Quality
- Reporting, including financial, operational and analytics
- Transformation, including data lakes and ETL
- Risk Management, including security, continuity and compliance