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Being Content with Information Governance Content

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In most scenarios, when people speak of information governance, they think of actionable terms like evaluating, creating, storing, quantifying, qualifying and so on. It’s not often the term “content” makes its way into an information governance conversation.

In fact, the quality of information governance content directly drives the effectiveness of information governance strategies. A driving force behind many information governance initiatives is business interruptions, increased costs and inefficient processes resulting from “bad” data.

Determining what data is bad is more art than science, in that data can be valid but not business ready, business ready but not business relevant and business relevant but not valid or authorized. In order to create an information governance strategy that can incorporate these nuanced differences into the state of an organization’s data, a content library that is tuned to these realities of data and information quality is needed. Much in the same way an implementation drives the power of data across an organization, the content used in the implementation drives the information governance strategy.

The Content Scenario

Here is one example of how quality content can benefit an organization.

Take for instance a large mining company. In the mining industry, the volume of material brought out of the ground to be processed directly relates to profits. Lets put into perspective one particular mine that ran into an issue with a broken down truck, which is very common. However, the broken part is a critical component that needed to be replaced immediately.

The mechanics at the mine searched in their system and realized there were no replacement parts in the country. The only other option was to buy and ship the replacement part from the manufacturer, leaving the truck inoperable for several days and slowing down business operations.

At the same time, just a few miles away, rests another mine with a warehouse filled with replacement parts. At this nearby mine was the replacement part needed to fix the broken truck, but here lied the data quality issue. The replacement parts were not properly linked to the asset of the truck. If this linkage had been correct, the broken equipment would have been able to be fixed in a matter of hours, rather than several days after the initial breakdown.

Helping IT and Business Users

No matter the industry, from mining to pharmaceutical, a quality content library will help the business accelerate time-to-value for the implementation of information governance initiatives. This means several benefits for the organization including:

  • Reduction in business interruptions
  • Increased efficiencies in business processes
  • Improved up-time of systems and robustness of interfaces

These benefits extend to all members of the organization. Business users will get a continued benefit from an ever-increasing content library for a higher level of data quality, leading to leaner processes and higher efficiencies for the business. IT users will see an increase in their program’s most valuable asset, time, allowing the skilled IT workers to focus on leveraging technology to improve the business – not fixing issues related to data.

As an organization’s content library grows, IT users will spend less time deploying systems and creating technical content items and more time adding value to the business. With stored content, business users will be able to access and provide input into business processes without having to reach out to IT. This allows IT to spend more time creating specific and complex value-added content items from the content libraries instead of developing them from scratch, which may potentially create new and unfamiliar territory for those teams.

As you begin or continue your journey on data quality initiatives, keep in mind that content is the driving force in evaluating, creating, analyzing, quantifying and qualifying your data.

Contributed by Tyler Warden, Application Development Manager at BackOffice Associates.

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