How Data Analysis Is Changing Information Governance

by March 14, 2018

More and more, organizations are realizing the importance of analyzing, harnessing, and protecting their data to improve information governance efforts. Increased PII risks, compliance regulations, and the sheer volume of enterprise data out there means that, now more than ever, it’s critical to have all your ducks in a row and know exactly what your documents contain.

That’s where data governance comes in. Rather than focusing on simply storing documents and data, data governance is an emerging paradigm that emphasizes long-term, broad applications of information as an enterprise asset. A typical information governance project entails data management and analysis, rather than simply storing data and keeping it locked down for the future.

By focusing on unstructured data analysis methods—rather than leaving data trapped in unstructured formats where it can’t be used—organizations are looking towards the future and eliminating risk.


Why Data Analysis is Key to Information Governance

Recognizing that unstructured data management can transform your records management is the first step, but what happens next? Next, you must acknowledge exactly which capabilities you need to drive through your data governance initiatives. Data management and analysis is still nascent, meaning that many organizations don’t realize the extent to which it can help them streamline a variety of business processes. Instead, they continue to throw armies of people at tasks that could be completed much more quickly by using data analysis.

Alternatively, by sticking to more automated data analytics tactics, it’s possible to drive a higher level of analysis that creates business value. Information governance should be all about assembling intelligence and information across sections of data so that you can get a broader view—which often isn’t possible with a manual approach.


Areas Where Organizations can Leverage Data Analysis

 Taking a holistic approach to information governance ensures that you have the right tools to interpret all of your data, regardless of the department or project it started in. One example of this can be seen with contract analytics. If you have a lot of contracts, it can become complex to stay ahead of the various payout options stipulated in each document. Using data analytics simplifies your project so you can see exactly what fees you need to pay out and when. It can also assist in itemizing and understanding all the parties involved, ensuring that everything is tracked much more easily than by examining it manually.

If you have a lot of historical contracts on hand, you could also be facing serious compliance risks. Check out this contract analytics white paper to learn how a Fortune 500 financial services company addressed the hidden costs, risks, and liabilities within its historical contract documents.

Another key use for unstructured data management is appropriately managing your intellectual property and thus reducing risk. One of the core elements of any holistic information governance program is applying defensible data deletion. This ensures that you’ll be eliminating PII wherever it occurs unnecessarily, keeping customer information safe and ensuring you’re not exposed to risk. Getting a handle on the discussion around content that’s related to specific security attributes is critical to ensuring compliance.

This is also closely related to the use of e-discovery while managing files and intellectual property. The ability to find all information related to a specific case or lawsuit is not an easy task to accomplish manually, nor are all the other associated requirements (such as keeping metadata intact and extracting all relevant data).


Wrap Up  

Ensuring that information governance is more than just a glorified records management system requires more than just luck and manual effort. The overarching need to comply with GDPR and other compliance regulations is growing. Organizations must be aware of how they can harness their unstructured data to reduce risk and complete standard data processing tasks much more efficiently. By better utilizing existing data analytics, you’ll be able to achieve a streamlined data governance process and keep compliance regulations on lockdown.