February 16th is Global Information Governance Day. I have always thought that these national “holidays” were a bit strange, varying from the silly (National Pizza Day, February 9th. But isn’t every day pizza day?) to the self-congratulatory (National Weatherman’s Day, February 5th). However, Global Information Governance Day (#GIGD) does bring home the magnitude of the job of information governance. The information that organizations have is their best representation of everything that they do, every person that they touch, every relationship that they have, every internal process that they follow, and every external agency or thing that might affect their business or their environment. That’s a lot of stuff. And making sense of all that information, and enabling business users able to find, understand, and trust that information, is a monumental undertaking. It is also a profound responsibility, as this data is the foundation that will shape decisions from the long-term strategy to the moment-by-moment prioritization of work, to the automation of information, factories, and transportation. Making sure that all of this information is known, appropriate, and trustworthy is a great challenge.
The good news is that our understanding of how to make data easy to find, understand, and trust, and the tools available to help us to do so, are constantly improving. Because organizations are beginning to understand how valuable that data really is, we see more companies putting data organizations in place and staffing them with professionals who are dedicated to taking on this task. The automation to support those organizations – the “system of record” for the data – is the fundamental purpose of Collibra Data Governance Center and the capabilities of the Collibra Platform. This system, and it applications, enable an organization to create a governed subset of information that is critical to the functioning, growth, and strategy of the enterprise. It encompasses everything from insuring that there are clear and consistent policies to manage data privacy (critical as organizations worldwide prepare to comply with the GDPR), to providing easy ways for business users to find, use, and share useful and trustworthy data. The value a system of record brings to the organization by reducing the amount of time spent searching for data to disambiguating data is tremendous (in the 10s of Millions per year for one customer who shared their analysis with us recently). The value of mitigating risk from making decisions based on incorrect, incomplete, or faulty information is incalculable. And the data itself becomes an asset that can be monetized as well, assuming it is known and trusted.
All of this can seem overwhelming. But you can find successful examples in every industry, every government, and on every continent. In some ways, trying to organize the data and all the policies and processes around it may not seem like a glamorous job. But information governance is the critical factor that unlocks all of the potential value of information. Those of us that spend our time making the data usable are the data changes agents. And we’re the ones who enable significant changes in business, in technology, and in governments around the world. So go out there, learn more about what you can do, connect with others who are doing it, and celebrate the challenge.
Happy Information Governance Day!