Data Governance & Records Management: Two Peas in a Pod

By NE Docs | January 19, 2015

Data Governance & Records Management Two Peas in a Pod

In order to be considered successful, your data governance strategy needs to include records management. There are a number of benefits one can discuss when it comes to data governance, including industry compliance, reducing security risks, and improving the overall quality of your data. However, these benefits often blur the true goal of data governance – enhancing the success of your business.

With this in mind – it is important to understand how physical documents represent a large portion of valuable data within your organization, and how new technologies are transforming electronic documents into a valuable data source. Once you understand how physical documents can provide greater insight into your decision making processes, the sooner you will consider records management an integral piece of your data governance strategy.

The Wrong Metrics

According to Gartner, too many organizations are basing their data governance success on analytics and key performance indicators that do not relate directly to business outcomes or their improvement. In order to provide more meaningful insight, the world of information governance must change how it classifies and handles relevant data – allowing companies to do more than just manage information. Instead, data governance should be focused on capturing, storing, and analyzing data regardless of origin or format (physical or digital) so that any relevant/pertinent data is available for analysis.

Advancements in Document Management

There have been plenty of advancements in the world of document management, such as the development of text analytics and predictive coding. These technological advances are enabling companies to do more than just categorize and retrieve information…it provides additional insight and value around physical data. Technology used to classify and categorize electronic files can be used to gain valuable insight into the operations of an organization – a data set that is currently ignored by any data governance strategy which neglects the inclusion of records management.

The Resistance

Although the capabilities and goals of records management are in line with those of data governance, many organizations are not ready to implement such a change. According to Steve Weissman of the Holly Group, “What we are likely to see is the greater incorporation of records functions as part of a broader information management and/or governance initiative at companies”. Part of the issue? Cheap record storage.

With the cost of records storage on the decline, it has made it much easier for companies to develop a sound records management strategy. However, the decision to store physical records is often made without any consideration to information management and/or data governance. Data which remains in physical form is lost to data governance professionals – excluding it from the overall picture of available company information.

Growing Data

Creating a holistic strategy to manage both physical and digital data as it enters an organization has remained a challenge for many companies – one which will continue to grow over time. Not concerned about this growing amount of data? Consider this – according to IBM, 90% of the world’s data was created over the last 2 years! Organizations that continue to neglect an inclusive and holistic data governance strategy may soon find themselves amid a sea of insurmountable data.

In summation, companies who fail to see the value in electronic document management are failing to see how all information is important when enhancing the success of their company though data. Regardless of its original form, companies will do well to include more data in their governance strategy, allowing them to enhance and improve their organization through educated analysis.

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