6 Ways Information Governance Uncovers Valuable Data

Information governance makes a positive contribution to businesses. Businesses can leverage information governance to create new income by using big data mining techniques to acquire valuable corporate data.

The maximum value of big data is realized when the output of computing is efficient at creating new wealth. It is important to find meaningful data among a bulk of information. That way businesses can see the bottom line benefits of making the business case for big data governance.

Ultimately, information governance should be "the rules-based management of digital information that connects to the advancing, the wealth creation, and wealth preservation goals of an organization.” The key is to uncover hidden data through big data mining because this can help efficiently filter data to find what is actually worth taking a look at.

For big data analytics to be successful, information governance rules must be followed closely by every person in an organization. Think of big data analytics as a machine, where the engines are performing calculations on the numbers, but they can only do this with correct input -- the data has to qualify, it has to meet the rules that are useful for the engine to compare to find the patterns, and if the data does not qualify, it is useless.

1. Data must conform to rules

Information must be first validated. Then data needs to be compared with the rules in order to decide whether or not to pass it through to the analytics engines that are being operated.

2. Locate sources of new data

This includes warehouse data, graph data, text data and multimedia data. Event record logs, where every machine and application creates records of how they perform their function, are also an important part of information governance because they allow information governance officers to see what has happened to the data. Records can hold important information such as who used what device to type specific keystrokes, and what authentication sequences were carried out.

3. Establish rules for defining event logs

The information governance process should be seen as a front-end process rather than a back-end one. It is important for information governance experts to be involved in making the rules for governing information and handling data provenance. The systems being used today are designed and engineered without the realization of how to utilize their output -- their performance data and event logs, to create new channels of revenue.

4. Data provenance aligns with the rules you set

Data provenance is the records of the entities, people and processes involved in producing a piece of data. It is important because it allows information to be more easily identified as being what it purports to be. Understanding the data’s provenance makes the data much more valuable.

5. Provenance chains together to improve the value of data for analytics

Data provenance improves the value of information intelligence by eliminating excess validation. The validation exercise requires checking the metadata. It chains together so that the result is the net outbound data coming through systems that have been enhanced with information governance policies.

6. Effective information governance requires engineering the information life cycle

This helps with the business’s efficiency. Information governance should be a part of the engineering life cycle because this will allow for opportunities to discuss each data asset’s revenue opportunity.


The Dark Overlord

Last year, the biggest breach in healthcare occurred at the second largest insurer in the US-Anthem. The names, social security numbers, addresses, emails, employment info, and income data was stolen.

As of this week, there has been another data breach from an anonymous hacker who goes by the name of thedarkoverlord. This hacker has breached 3 different healthcare databases ranging from 50,000 to 400,000 patients and is offering to sell patients’ medical records.

Each and every employee of an organization has a trail of records, documenting information from the moment they are hired to the moment they leave. Organizations must understand the responsibility they have to protect both their client and employee information. Healthcare is an industry where they have had trouble keeping information confidential. The best defense mechanism against hackers is to implement security measures through an ECM – one with specific requirements, that is.


Your ECM should also provide document authentication, integrity and privacy. It should be able to encrypt data and documents in a way that makes them only accessible through using the ECM directly.

1.      Your ECM should have access controls for admins to put permissions on users. A hacker would need to crack the admin level access in order to change the permissions.

2.      A retention tool that allows for records managers to destroy or archive documents so that confidential information is not sitting around when it shouldn’t be.

3.      Audit trails and reporting tools to show transparency for all user activity and changes to documents.

4.      Disaster recovery capabilities – your ECM data should all be backed up in case of a disaster so that your information is preserved.

5.      E-signatures in order to verify the authenticity of the documents and specify the owner of the documents.

Apart from internal ECM features, there are a few things you can do to add another layer of security to your organization:

1.      check for 3rd-party security audits

2.      ensure that each software release is scanned with a professional security tool

3.      optionally, contract for your own 3rd-party audit

If your company does not currently have an ECM or is running on an outdated one, chances are, you probably have already experienced a data breach. It’s time you migrate your data to a modern solution. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a foolproof security system, but with an ECM, chances of hackers breaking into your database to steal information are much slimmer.



Robo-advising, the New Steam Engine


With financial advisors charging hundreds by the hour for investment recommendations, a new, low-cost alternative has been invented. Robo-advising is here to replace traditional wealth management services. Big brands are looking to invest in robo-advising, an automated investment advisor based on algorithms. Robo-advising spans over a wide spectrum, from robo-advice, which pulls information on lifestyle, goals, risk profile and savings to recommend investments, to robo-investing, which refers to cases where algorithms select and a portfolio for the person. The sector for robo-advising and robo-investing is predicted to increase by 68% annually, which adds up to a whopping $2.2 trillion globally by 2020.

In comparison to the investment world, FileTrail has incorporated its own robo-advising into information governance - our auto-classification feature. It is essential for records managers and information governance officers to enforce classification policies and retention schedules to avoid the formidable question all records managers ask: What is safe to destroy and what is safe to keep? 

Just as traditional human-advised investments are becoming obsolete, manual classification is the last thing users want to worry about. At the core, the issue is that the user must understand the information in order to determine how it must be classified, why it must be retained, how long it must be retained, and when it can be disposed. Managing the retention and disposition of information reduces litigation risk, reduces discovery and storage costs, and ensures organizations maintain regulatory compliance. 

Currently, most companies are still struggling with automation. They are using manual classification, which is often inaccurate and inconsistent, leading to increased costs, litigation risks, and productivity loss. Auto-classification eliminates the need for users to classify and sort through an organizations vast database of records while establishing compliancy and consistent protocol for all users to put records on a retention schedule.

In the coming years, companies should move towards reconstructing their ECM and records management systems or migrating their data to new cutting-edge solutions. With the volume of data growing exponentially in the next few years, a modern information management system is vital for a company to stay organized and efficient. 




Physical Records Digitizing Not Necessary for Good PRM

For many industries, the seemingly growing volumes of paper are overwhelming despite attempts to minimize paper use within an office. The paperless office is still a dream. It may be tempting to convert your organization’s physical documents into electronic documents, seeing as how electronic documents are much easier to search for and locate. However, digitizing an organization’s entire records database is not required nor practical.

Despite its obvious benefits, digitizing physical records are extremely time consuming, expensive, and legally may not be an option as e-signatures aren’t legally binding in many states and nations. For security reasons, duplicating information for the purpose of digitizing also acts as a risk in regards to corporate or legal compliance and regulation policies.

However, understanding that physical records are not electronic documents but can work the same way, is important to realizing how your PRM should work for you the way your electronic content management works. Let’s adopt a few key steps from electronic document management to take advantage of your physical records strategy. 


Taxonomy and metadata is extremely important to electronic document management and the same should be said for PRM. Build a taxonomy system that works with the type of information that your company handles in a way that is easy to understand and work with. Once you’ve set up a corporate taxonomy structure for your physical records, make sure to appropriately tag its data properties. Metadata tags are then applied acting as the key to search and locate functions that work with records management systems.


Search, Tracking & Locate: 

For physical records, instead of digitizing physical documents, work with your provider to attach bar code or RFID search and tracking capabilities to record types and files. You’ll be able to search for, track, and locate records once the items are properly labeled and tagged, within the software.

Instant Access:

Electronic document solutions offer web-based browser UI’s that allow users to log into, access, search for, and locate their files conveniently. With proper organization and the application of labeling and tracking, access to your physical records should be allowed the same convenience. Solutions offering a unified interface that displays both the physical records and electronic documents of an organization, will see an increase in work efficiency and a decrease in time spent hunting for necessary files.

An effective PRM doesn’t need records to be digital. Digitizing is usually out of the budget or simply out of reach in a realistic attempt whether it’s time consuming, legally impossible, or a security factor. However, there are still ways to enhance PRM. Take advantage of your physical records and optimize your records management with these 3 adopted features from electronic documents management, today.


The Good & Bad: Data in the Cloud


The go to solution for storing information has gone up to the cloud. Cloud data storage has become a standard choice when choosing a storage solution for information. Cloud data storage has created access to new methods of data classification, organization and management, preventing information from becoming chaotic and unmanageable. Learning how to take advantage of cloud data storage does come with a few concerns despite its massive rewards. Let’s check in to see what the benefits are vs. the risks.


Increased Efficiency

Storing your information in the cloud garners access to an important function, increase efficiency in information management. Once data has been moved up into the cloud, it’s easier to manage, organize, and search for. Cloud storage also encourages collaboration and transparency.

Infinite Scale-ability

Cloud storage is kind of a one size fits all solution. Here us out; if your organization is small, let’s say, a startup, then cloud storage may be the right size for you. If you one day evolve from that start-up into a multi-national corporation, cloud data storage may still be the right size for you with the correct structuring. This is also a key benefit to cloud data storage, size doesn’t matter and scaling is nearly infinite.

Saves Money Upfront

Alongside the one size fits all scalability of cloud storage, the price tag is a much lower front end cost and will adjust accordingly to your needs. Therefore, depending on the size of storage, a solution can be customized to fit your current situation. In general, storing information in the cloud saves an organization money by tailoring solution plans and by saving money on upfront cost as compared to private on-premise solutions. For those seeking to build a content management strategy from scratch for their organization, cloud storage significantly reduces the front loaded cost of developing an information management framework.


Information Security

Storing and securing information on public or private clouds is inevitably the least secure out of the two options: in the cloud or on premise. You would be entrusting your information to a third party provider. Agency for specific controls and policies, is more limited with the cloud option as compared to an in house solution. Prior research would have to be spent on ensuring the reliability and credibility of a cloud storage solutions provider before choosing which servicer is best.

Loss of Data

Concern for the issue of data loss is a controllable factor. Proper training of employees in best practices for data management and cloud storage would help to alleviate the concern of data loss as it is mostly end-user error.  It is in some cases, impossible to retrieve information that has been loss during data restoration or data migration and  without standardized corporate procedures, the risk of data loss within the cloud is a big concern but doesn’t have to be.

Cloud solutions are best for efficient management and organization of information for organizations that need quick and effective access to records, electronic documents and assets. The risks are factors that can be minimized through proper information governance policies and guidelines, as well as through an organized information management framework. Prevent risks with the proper tools and strategy for a cloud data migration that may be the best bet for your organization.