“Bad data is the fruitcake nobody eats.”
Fruitcake gets put in the corner. Nobody serves it. Everybody hates fruitcake and everybody hates dirty data. As SteveMo shares, “At least fruitcake is good for re-gifting. You can’t re-gift dirty data.”
Big Data is something that companies are trying to define with regard to what it means to their operation and to their competitive landscape. When considering the growing number of sources of unstructured data (e.g. social media) and structured data, just defining the landscape of what you are talking about can be difficult. In this blog we have provided a framework for how to define Big Data, getting value from Big Data and now providing actionable points on how to turn a three headed monster into something that adds significant and ongoing business value.
In an earlier posting we identified the requirement to gain cross functional consensus with regard to how Big Data solutions are created to serve the intended purpose of solving a business problem(s). We also focused on why it is so important to take an enterprise wide perspective to maximize the value of the investment. In this posting, we will focus on the importance of data governance.
What does data governance have to do with Big Data?
Everything. Effective solutions take time and resources to build correctly. The question is do you want that investment to solve a business problem one time or to continue to support solving the business problem over time.
Problems are solved by business leaders and managers making decisions that positively impact the efficiency and financial impact of the operation. Decisions that are fact based and that are actionable.
Ok, so what does that have to do with Data Governance?
Let’s say that you have a significant business problem to solve. The information that you have in front of you is known to be consistently accurate and specific to the problem area. This is a function of the information coming from the same source, that the information has been verified by Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) and the way that it has been processed is consistent to provide the information you need. What did I just describe? Data Governance; the insurance policy for Big Data, and this insurance policy continues to provide returns as you measure the impact of those decisions over time.
Data Governance provides the rules for which you are obtaining, organizing, validating and processing the vast amounts of structured and unstructured data to gain competitive advantage. Without it, your Big Data investments are a waste of time.
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