Govern big data in the sandbox? High performers say yes

Program Director, Analytics Platform Marketing, IBM

In 2012, many organizations were trying to understand the meaning of big data. Now, most know what it is, but they don’t know how to leverage big data to help drive their own success.

According to a study commissioned by IBM and conducted by Forrester Consulting, it is important to implement information integration and governance (IIG), making sure to implement with agility: “Organizations recognize that a one-size-fits-all approach to IIG is a big data killer.” Instead, IIG needs to adapt to data context: what type of data it is, where it originated and how it will be used.

A common misconception about IIG is that it should be avoided for many projects and organizations because it introduces high costs and delays. However, successful organizations have found that agile IIG actually helps them improve customer experience, gain competitive advantage and manage risks such as those associated with non-compliance with government and industry mandates.

The study found a strong correlation between IIG maturity and revenue growth—agile IIG does make a difference.

Another common misconception has been that IIG applies only to mature projects in production, built on key enterprise data. In this study, the data showed otherwise. Yes, respondents found that customer data, product data and data for planning, budgeting and forecasting needed the most governance, but the full range of data types—including web data, sensor data and social network data—needed some level of governance, adapted to the specific scenario. They also recognized that appropriate governance is important for big data, even at the test and learn phases in a sandbox, so that results are worthy of confidence.  

Insights from the Big Data Needs Agile Information And Integration Governance study can help other organizations determine how and when to get started with information integration and governance, and how to build a plan that can yield clear benefits to the business.