Business Intelligence and the Importance of Information Governance

Marketing Team - Friday, June 19, 2015

As reported in a recent issue of the (May 2015)  Harvard Business Review, companies in the top third of their industry who use data-driven decision making are, on average, 5% more productive and 6% more profitable than their competitors.

In a broadcast by National Public Radio, a major West Coast University Medical Center discussed its discontinued use of data analytics for patient care decisions due to inconsistencies in the information sources.  Using faulty data had life and death consequences, so the Medical Center reverted back to round-table discussions of specific patients’ care.

A Melissa Data Whitepaper provided survey results that indicated it costs $1.00 to enter data correctly, $10 to fix the errors and $100 to do nothing (i.e.) lost opportunity). 

Clearly, there is a competitive advantage with authentic, reliable data in decision making.  The question: “How do I ensure that the data ARE authentic and reliable so that good decisions can be made?”

Information Governance.

What is your policy on records and information in your company?  I once had a client whose policy was “employees are to use common sense”.  It turned out to be a lengthy engagement!

Is there a Content or Records Management System in place to manage information or are employees using shared drives/directories to store documents? Another client had a shared drive for informed consent agreements.  A departing employee deleted it right before the next scheduled back up.

Do your employees understand how to save the documents and records they create or receive on behalf of the company so that someone else can retrieve them?    I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve seen “12345678.pdf” and “Doc1.doc” in shared drives.  Full text search is not the answer.   

Are there controls in place for data entry so that everyone is entering information into your databases the same way, every time?  A national fast food chain spelled “Burrito” seven different ways in their marketing database used for trending analysis. 

How is the entered content of the data validated?  The USPS has an address lookup available by subscription. Use E-Verify for SSN. 

When was the last time you looked at and cleansed your data?  This is the first question I ask when entering into a business process improvement (whether automation transactional documents or providing business analytics capability to managers and supervisors) as it has the biggest impact on the length of the project and its eventual success.  

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