Targeting High Value Data for Information Governance
High Value Data comes in variety of shapes, sizes and forms in industry. Often it’s intellectual property like designs or research information, it can be data that requires extra attention and control because of its sensitivity, it can be data that is specifically regulated by law or statute, or it might be information that is critical in cases of litigation. Despite their different purposes and uses, all this High Value Data can benefit from applying common and integrated Information Governance.
The life cycle of High Value Data domains is very consistent and the decision making and controls around the data are very common. If you look at the life cycle of information, it’s easy to identify some key steps in the life cycle. See below:
For High Value Data like I have described above, often companies will miss an opportunity to align and integrate efforts, and will end up initiating more costly individual investments to govern their High Value Data. Often you will see these investments referred to as e-Discovery, Records Management, Security, Privacy, or other compliance specific agendas. Let’s look at a couple of examples of why it makes sense to govern High Value Data in a common and integrated fashion. Once you see these, I think you will gain an appreciation for how viewing Information Governance from an integrated standpoint can make your efforts more effective and less costly.
- PLANNING data governance for compliance oriented data, e-Discovery, Records Management or Privacy often require the same subject matter experts (SMEs) in laws, regulations, and policy. Having these SMEs look at planning holistically for High Value Data, can help eliminate redundant decision making efforts and help them identify complimentary controls that can help address needs across multiple domains. In addition, these High Value Data domains often require enterprise wide interventions in order to create change (or in this case, drive new Information Governance). Enterprise initiatives are often difficult to move forward due their breadth and stakeholders that span multiple areas. By bringing these enterprise needs and initiatives together during planning, you are more likely to have success in mobilizing sponsorship of investments vs. having each High Value Data area make its own individual investment case.
- Governance for what you CREATE and ACQUIRE can be critically important to the overall life cycle of High Value Data and can help minimize risks. As an example, both Privacy and Security are interwoven when it comes to this step. If an organization chooses to ACQUIRE and make use of personal data then there will be a resulting set of risks and costs associated with securing that data.
- Most High Value Data requires limiting how it is USED and ACCESSED, specifying who can use it, determining where it can reside, and making use of audit trails to substantiate who did what, to what data. The decision making processes and how you limit access are often common across these different High Value Data domains. In addition, the types of technology solutions one can deploy to enable the right access controls, such as Identity and Access Management, Encryption, or Data Loss Prevention are very similar and often are the same solution.
- DISPOSITION is a step that has an extreme amount of interdependence across decisions, controls and approaches for each of these High Value Data domains. As an example, the disposition of records and adherence to a retention schedule can have direct impact, good or bad, on e-Discovery efforts. Often, companies end up storing unnecessary volumes of data because of their lack of governance/compliance to record retention procedures. This results in sky rocketing storage costs and greater exposure to companies having to process data for legal requests that they weren’t legally bound to keep in the first place.
Here's a quick summary of the common themes and benefits of integrating High Value Data Governance:
- Decision makers are often common across High Value Data Governance. In particular, in the area of Legal and Compliance.
- By bringing the enterprise needs and initiatives for each High Value Data domain together during planning, you are more likely to have success in mobilizing sponsorship of investments vs. have each High Value Data area make its case on its own.
- Decisions made on High Value Data type in a step in the information life cycle, can have significant impact on the risks and costs of managing High Value Data elsewhere in the life cycle.
- The technologies available that help enable limited access, appropriate use, and Security are often the same across the High Value Data domains.
Here are some additional resources for you to assist with High Value Data Governance: