Your information assets are your business, not just the symptoms of your business!

All companies need to keep a firm grip on these assets and effectively managing information should be your number one business priority if you want success.

But, where and what information do you have and what’s relevant? Is it easily accessible? Is it accurate, complete and up-to-date? Can you join all the data together, regardless of the format and frequency of change?

Policies, Practices and Procedures

Management of information and data underpin all successful business outcomes and the key to this is the development of appropriate policies, practices and procedures. These should address questions such as: what information can and should be shared amongst employees, throughout the business, or with clients and partners.

Legal Requirements

An essential information management element, these days, is compliance. You need to ensure your business safeguards specific information to comply with legal obligations and legislation, and that the information is stored securely in an easily accessible, immutable form. To achieve this requires some rigour and understanding of information architecture. This may sound complicated but essentially boils down to how data is collected, structured, stored, arranged, integrated and used within your business.

There is a need to develop methodologies and policies essential for achieving compliance and implement solutions that support the growing demand for companies to demonstrate a high degree of corporate accountability and governance, through evidence in the form of complete, accurate, reliable and immutable information.

Discovery and Profiling

Most businesses are likely to be using a collection of off the shelf (sometimes customised) software applications and, potentially, some bespoke solutions that deal with more specific aspects of the activities the business undertakes. The software and infrastructure landscape may have evolved organically, over many years, and there might be several different data and exchange formats in use. The referential integrity of the information may depend on the sum of data retained in multiple disparate systems. This complex and demanding environment means discovery and profiling of data needs to be accurate and comprehensive.

Recommendations

Here are the five of the principles that Ntegra recommend for enhancing information utilisation and business value, while minimising total cost of ownership:

Firstly, think BIG! More data means better insights and forecasts so ensure your analysts can access and work across all your datasets, sources, formats and structures.
Keep on top of data cleansing, building quality into data integrations. Remember, poor data leads to broken processes and missed opportunities.

Deploy advanced analytic techniques including statistical analysis capabilities in data transformation flows to illuminate distribution, variance and correlation in your data. A ‘starter for ten’ before anyone has looked at the data!

Prepare for analytics by de-normalising and merging sources into Analytical Base Tables.

Use a common metadata layer for data management and analytics This helps with consistency of data preparation, lineage and model deployment.

Improving the quality, accuracy and consistency of your Information Management processes will assure business continuity and enable timely access to the right information, facilitating useful and accurate analysis, assisting with business planning and strategic decision-making processes. Getting this right should be your number one business priority in 2019.