Effective governance and Big Data

Organisations today no doubt understand the necessity of IT governance, especially when it comes to data.

Big Data is perhaps one of the most significant technologies to affect information management, and it's essential that businesses understand the importance of effective governance.

A failure to manage Big Data could cause significant trouble for an organisation, including security issues such as compromises in data security.

This article will explore the various considerations for Big Data governance in a modern businesses, and why mastering data management should become a top priority. In many cases, effective data management is relatively straightforward to implement.

For many companies – and even IT security professionals – a course focusing on IT governance could be a useful investment. 

Governance for Big Data

Ensuring governance over Big Data starts with breaking down data management into several key areas. In this way, the task of managing such vast quantities of information doesn't overwhelm the company. When control over data management falters, it's easier for security breaches to occur and information to be lost.

Here are the various considerations for companies looking to put Big Data governance measures into effect.

Establishing a data overview

Big Data means dealing with a substantial quantity of information, often many times greater than what's ever been handled previously by a company. While the trend is essentially managing large sets of information, the sheer quantity can be overwhelming.

The first step in an effective governance strategy should focus on mastering an overview of all available data within the organisation. This means collating every piece of information into a defined storage structure and adding any other sorting controls.

For example, companies may add meta tags in order to speed up the location of necessary information.

Eliminating unnecessary information

Though the trend is called Big Data, it doesn't mean unnecessary information should be maintained by the company. As part of the governance process, steps should be taken to eliminate information that's only going to create a more cumbersome data repository.

It's important that enterprises seek out data sets that are unnecessary for the company moving forward. If particular sets of information could possibly be required at some point in the future, it may be prudent to maintain these in a separate location.

Unnecessary data may also stem from additions to an original data set. For example, a repository of information from a customer study may pass through a number of departments within a company, with each adding information that's duplicated or has little value.

Bringing the data sets down to exactly what's required is an important step, and can help to reduce costs in the long run.

Placing an emphasis on security

IT security is not solely limited to Big Data, but all areas of the technical operations of a company. However, it can be easier for security issues to manifest when dealing with large data sets, as the quantity of information can make management an issue.

An issue for Big Data security is the quantity of information. Older systems and technologies designed to handle small data sets that are largely static are often unable to cope with the massive amount of information on hand.

In addition, traditional analytical systems are often unable to handle this data. Businesses need to understand that new security methods are needed to ensure effective security and, as such, data governance.

Data governance

By considering the above, organisations can ensure Big Data governance regardless of the amount of information used by the company. Effective Big Data governance can be boiled down to eliminating unnecessary information, applying any necessary management systems to ensure an effective overview, and handling security on an ongoing basis.

Big Data is able to assist businesses in a variety of ways and certainly needs to be considered. Governance, however, will have to become a primary focus.