Information Governance Defined…

I promise to return to the other two workstreams for Katowice, but in the meantime, I wanted to post something on Information Governance.

Information Governance is an area of growing interest in the organizations with which I am speaking, though I find that many are still confused about exactly what Information Governance is. Mike Ferguson just posted on the topic and I think he did a great job in laying out the issues. An interesting point that he inadvertently points out is that the best way to describe what Information Governance is all about is to ask questions – questions like “Do you know where this data came from and who “touched” it?”  and “Is this data accurate?” and even “Do you really know what this piece of data means?”. These questions are the sort of unasked questions that make every executive nervous. Are you making decisions based on good data, or are you not sure?

Information Governance establishes the procedures that ensure that information can be trusted – to master the complete lifecycle of information, establish sustainable management of information quality and security, while enabling IT to make information more accessible and meaningful to the business.

I think a lot of organizations make the mistake of thinking of information governance as a project. This usually ends up with it being equated to things like compliance, which can certainly be facilitated by information governance processes, but is really something different. Information governance is not the project, its what makes your existing projects more business-aligned, and the results more sustainable and repeatable.

So regardless of on what type of information-intensive project you are embarking, you need to ask those sustainability questions and have a plan for how you will govern your information. If you are interested in finding out more information, check out our Information Governance Community.

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