Business Intelligence for Unstructured Data? You Bet!
If you could set and measure Key Performance Indicators (KPI) for your unstructured information, would you and, if so, why? Is it possible or desirable to take such a deterministic approach to such a messy subject and, if so, how would it contribute to your team’s or organization’s overall objectives and management reporting?
A cynic might quote the adage “what gets measured gets done” and anecdotally that would seem to be the case, at least in organizations where committees and working groups drive managers’ behaviour. The question then should be be “what would you want to have done?” for your unstructured information and how might you measure that thing?
If you own a digital landfill of dark and unknown data (don’t we all?) which will increasingly be the attention of a privacy, security or governance team, building a case for action is one of the biggest challenges. That means being able to objectively measure and paint a picture that can be understood by stakeholders will be a key step to getting started. Perhaps more importantly, tracking progress for accountability and communicating with stakeholders will be a key part of ensuring a sustained effort rather than a burst of enthusiasm followed by a painful fizzle out.
With all of that in mind, consider the ability to roll up and track over time the state of your content and information policies using your chosen BI platform. Consider, potentially, the way that might support a case for investing in a governance team, offer a commentary on how information projects are progressing or even feed in to a hierarchy of measures for performance management. Well, with great excitement, that’s what we’re looking at now; showing how PII data is distributed across enterprise shares, plotting ROT against data center and, of course, presenting that in compelling dashboards that really speak to ‘C-level’.
These preview shots are early days in the making but what they provide in aggregation and the ability to tell a story feels truly unparalleled for use cases like sensitive data leakage, content clean-up, acquisition and divestiture and, of course, ongoing information governance. Moreover, the impact they are having on real customers in real world projects is quite something. I’ll be updating again with more news soon but in the meantime, consider my question above. What would you measure and why?