In his recent report – Swim, Don’t Sink in the Data Lake: Winning with Big Data Analytics – Michael Lock points out that the ability to use data and analytics to drive company performance does not “arise in a vacuum.” Instead, he says that Best-in-Class companies are “more likely to implement critical internal processes and procedures to help ensure the cleanliness, security, and usability of their data.”

Just how far ahead the Best-in-Class are can be seen in Figure 1.

Figure 1: Critical Processes for Data Governance and Usage


When we hear phrases like “processes and procedures,” many of us immediately think “bureaucratic red tape.” We also think of it as them as the enemies of agility.

Lock has a different take:

Companies use governance and oversight as the foundation of quality and reliability in the data environment that actually accelerates the decision process with less wasted time searching for correct information or filling in missing fields. Once these policies are in place, top companies are more easily able to exchange information across business functions and improve accessibility to different data sources for key decision makers.

Down with Data Anarchy!

In other words, adopting formalized methods of data governance and processing actually enables an agile use of data. This makes sense. Do you really want your users wasting their time trying to find and pull together all the data they need? Or, worse, do you want them to constantly question its validity?

The answer to the both those questions is obvious. So is the value of solid data governance if you want to be a truly data-driven organization.

Read the full report: Swim, Don’t Sink in the Data Lake: Winning with Big Data Analytics.

Image Source (Creative Commons): jar [o].