Lots of companies have jumped aboard the “Big Data” bandwagon, throwing millions of dollars at data collection and analytics. Datasets and data warehouses have become truly Brobdingnagian in scope; some of the biggest tech firms are inventing new frameworks and software platforms in order to effectively manage it all.
That rapid expansion, though, could lead to what research firm Gartner refers to as an “information crisis” among the biggest organizations.
“There is an overall lack of maturity when it comes to governing information as an enterprise asset,” Andrew White, a research vice president at Gartner, wrote in a statement accompanying a new research note. “It is likely that a number of organizations, unable to organize themselves effectively for 2020, unwilling to focus on capabilities rather than tools, and not ready to revise their information strategy, will suffer the consequences.”
What sort of consequences? If employees can’t effectively share, manage and reuse data that flows through an organization, the latter risks losing out on strategic opportunities that might emerge; in the worst-case scenarios, that “information blindness” can lead to outright failure, layoffs, and all the other bad stuff that crops up in the Business News section.
In order to prevent such disastrous consequences, Gartner recommends that companies establish a process known as Enterprise Information Management (EIM), which allows for the sharing of data in a systematized way that not only creates some sort of value, but also prevents vital information from slipping through the proverbial cracks. EIM must also be holistic to a whole organization, and look at ways in which employees can link together data from various programs, rather than focusing on how individual silos can improve information management.
This isn’t a new trend, of course: companies have spent the past several years attempting to wrangle their data with the latest and greatest software, including enterprise search and data-discovery tools. But creating a management structure capable of using those tools effectively is a big part of ensuring that data disasters don’t affect one’s company a little bit further down the line.