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Dealing with Unexpected Events: 3 Considerations for Data Management

Well, I Never Saw That Coming.


Almost a quarter into 2017 and the Data Intelligence business is humming along. I have been digging around some of the “Big Picture” challenges that look likely to shape activities this year. The thing that has struck me most forcibly is the notion that unexpected events can explode the best-laid plans. Consider the two most unexpected events of 2016: the UK decision to leave Europe (“Brexit”) and the result of the US presidential election. These were massive disrupters to many well-designed strategies. What’s a data manager to do?

Recent regulatory environments for the U.S. and the UK will bring an unknown set of challenges for businesses. On January 30th, US President Trump signed an executive order, “on Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs” which calls for a reduction in the number of regulations and (at least) restraint in the growth of regulatory costs. The impact on IT systems is unpredictable. In Europe, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) makes substantial new demands on every business holding personally identifiable information. With the impending Brexit, the impact of this in the UK is still unpredictable.

With all this is mind, some steps seem worth considering.
  1. 1. First, knowing that “business as unusual” is the order of the day−make sure you are ready to change in any direction. That means knowing your data. How quickly can you find the data needed to deal with a new business opportunity, or a change in regulations? What data do you have that could be explored to identify new opportunities? In a study we collaborated on with FIMA, we found that while half of data management organizations mine their big data stores for a combination of operational processes, routine reporting, and advanced analytics, 45% are only beginning to create data lineage programs for their critical data elements. Creating a data inventory and mapping the data lineage of critical elements is a key to agility.
  2. 2. Second, make sure you have your lookouts posted to see the future of data management. As it is inevitable that your data management environment and practices will change, who do you have exploring what’s on the horizon and identifying the implications? That means having a network of connections around the business. People in Legal, Compliance, Accounting, Human Resources, and others will have valuable information.
  3. 3. Lastly, review your tooling. Data Management for operational systems and data warehouses is probably well established, but what about the Big Data environment?  The governance requirements are not the same, but you cannot ignore them. Data Provenance and Data Lineage will continue to be essential elements. New requirements will emerge. 
The evolution of Data Management is going to be interesting. We are continuing to develop our solutions. We look forward to sharing the journey!  
 
Posted: 4/5/2017 10:14:21 AM by Ian Rowlands | with 0 comments
Filed under: big, Data, Enterprise, governance, Ian, Intelligence, lineage, management, Rowlands


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