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July 02, 2018
Using information governance to support analytics capabilities
By: Sid Ghatak

Tap into the world's most valuable resource—Data

Data is truly the new oil. Just as oil powered industry did in the twentieth century, data will power the information industry for the foreseeable future by enabling advanced analytics capabilities such as artificial intelligence and machine learning. To reach its full potential, though, data must be treated as the valuable asset that it is. And this is where information governance comes in. Information governance manages people, processes, and technologies to efficiently and effectively manage, store, secure, and make data available to analytics teams and systems.

For example, Concantenated Industries has experienced tremendous growth over the last 25 years and now stands poised as the leader in nearly every market it serves. Its products are reliable, its customers are happy, its share price is at an all-time high, and its CEO is one of the highest paid in the world. The board and shareholders couldn’t be happier.

But Concantenated’s staff is overworked, stressed, and operates in a near-continuous state of agitated frustration. Why? Because Concantenated’s spectacular rise has been fueled by a voracious acquisition spree. Though these acquisitions paid off for investors and executives, the impact on daily operations is significant and severe. Instead of integrating all the back-office systems during each acquisition, processes were handled manually. Today there are multiple systems for nearly every business process, and it’s nearly impossible to trust data or data-based analysis due to inconsistencies, duplications, and unreliable systems.

Diana Carter, Concantenated’s CIO, addressed the organization’s data issues by establishing an information governance framework. She recognized the need to balance flexibility with structure when managing data to facilitate analytics. The information governance framework defined many fundamentals, such as data owners; existing systems’ and staff capabilities; data standards for how data should be sourced, stored, and used; information security; and governance quality metrics. Ms. Carter also considered the impact of Concantenated’s business situations on information governance and customized the framework to meet the organization’s specific needs.

The new information governance program has transformed how data is used within Concantenated. In the past, it took days or weeks to answer basic questions about company performance. Today, managers can use data analysis to ask how much the company would sell next month if prices were adjusted and can monitor performance in real time. The company is now positioned to start an analytics initiative to develop new products and services for its customers.

Does your organization have an information governance framework? Is data well organized and available to the people and systems that need it to develop advanced analytics? The Accenture Academy courses Information Governance for Data Flexibility and Structure, Analytics and Information Governance, Fundamentals of Information Governance, and The Impact of Business Situations on Information Governance courses will help you and your organization craft a set of policies that will help transform your data into valuable information and ensure you are prepared to deploy analytics for true competitive advantage.

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