Governance is Key to Extracting Value from Big Data – Big Data Forum
Home Blogs Governance is Key to Extracting Value from Big Data

Governance is Key to Extracting Value from Big Data

Governance is Key to Extracting Value from Big Data

Knowledge is power. Businesses are taking data-driven business intelligence to the next level by collecting vast amounts of data and using data science to discover new customer needs, develop new products and services, and identify trends and opportunities. Whether structured or unstructured, CIOs realize that tapping into all types of data yields maximum value.
Paul Terry, CEO, PHEMI recommends making the most of company’s data by collecting, analyzing, and then sharing insights. Terry explains, “This data could provide metrics tracking customer behavior across multiple channels and lines of business, usage data to inform product development or allow retailers to gather data across all their stores. To make the most of these insights the ability to share among many stakeholders is key.”

But wholesale sharing isn’t always the right way to go, and in many cases can be considered a breach of privacy. “It’s incredibly valuable to have all data in one place where it can be analyzed,” says Terry, “but you need to ensure that different types of stakeholders can see only the information they legitimately need, and no more. For example, consider a connected washing machine that transmits sensor data back to the manufacturer. The customer service representative should be able to access the full customer data to provide proper assistance, but the company’s marketing partners don’t need to see all of the data.”
In fact, customer service reps at different levels need discrete levels of access. Phone support reps need personal information that links purchase and warranty data with usage information generated by the machine, but on-site technical repair needs address and warranty authorization as well as error tracking codes. Opening up data to marketing partners needs to be highly restrictive, and according to Terry, “De-identified information would allow them to derive insight. Slicing, dicing, and serving up the data in different ways to different stakeholders is the key to making big data profitable. It sounds like a huge undertaking, but there are straightforward solutions.”

Access to big data can be viewed similarly to data stored in company accounting and CRM applications. “In the networking sphere,” says Terry, “Zero Trust means ‘never trust, always verify.’ Access is denied by default. By applying this principle and extending it a layer deeper into the data itself, Zero Trust Data allows business to unlock more value from the information they collect and give it to stakeholders who need it. Using a Zero Trust Data model allows for the data to remain whole; there is no need for multiple copies with different levels of information. Instead the system can repurpose data on the fly to present different views to stakeholders with different levels of access. So, if we go back to the washing machine example the customer service representative would be able to see all the customer’s data, but the data analyst in marketing would access the same data, but only see de-identified information. The Zero Trust Data model provides a powerful mechanism to capitalize on big data without compromising privacy.”

Access to data is an important concept for companies collecting and acting on their big data archives. Pulling actionable but protected data is key to developing advanced business practices while protecting customer identity.

How is your organization segmenting its data?

Scott Koegler Scott Koegler practiced IT as a CIO for 15 years. He also has more than 20 years experience as a technology journalist covering topics ranging from software and services through business strategy. Scott publishes, a supply chain industry newsletter and has written for publications including Network Computing, Forbes, Internet Evolution, and many others.
  • Paul Korzeniowski

    Very true. Companies have more information available nowadays than ever before and are able to share that information in ways that benefit themselves, their customers, and their partners. However, the sharing can expose personal information to third parties. Consequently, businesses need to make sure that they are looking at the complete corporate picture when they implement changes and not just a departmental snippet or two.

  • jpmello

    it’s unfortunate that consumers don’t have the Zero Trust power when it comes to marketers vacuuming data about them.

  • Chris Carroll

    Truer words were never spoken,governance not only key to extracting business value from big data, it’s the only way that big data initiatives can succeed today and scale tomorrow.

  • Paul Korzeniowski

    Good point. The recent moves by various vendors to collect and use personal information in clandestine ways does lead to a healthy does of skepticism among consumers. Perhaps, schools and certification organizations need to focus on Big Data ethics classes. It seems like many company execs would benefit from such classes.

  • Paul Korzeniowski

    True. Companies need to put checks in place in order to ensure that the data is being used appropriately.

  • Kerry Doyle

    Using the information security triad (confidentiality, integrity, availability), other key governance areas to address should include questions, such as “Who sees the data?”, “Has the data been corrupted?”, and “Can I access the server and data as needed?”