data

Business Intelligence Makes for Smart Businesses

Business Intelligence, or BI, is a concept that usually involves the delivery and integration of business information in an organization that can be useful for making decisions. Every organization has multiple departments, and each database may only contain information that is relevant to its own department.  Business Intelligence involves the use of customer information, sales data, statistics, product movement, profitability, etc. Companies use BI to detect significant events and identify and monitor business trends in order to adapt quickly to their changing environment and a scenario. If you use effective business intelligence training in your organization, you can improve the decision making processes at all levels of management and improve your tactical strategic management processes.

Regardless of whether you run an established and successful business, or a new startup, your organization needs the ability to make informed decisions through proper data analysis.

1. Boost productivity. Through traditional data gathering methods, users need to compile and analyze data and write related reports. This can be incredibly time consuming, especially for small businesses that may not have the employees to do it. With a BI program, you can pull data and create the reports at the click of a button thus freeing up time and resources allowing employees to be more productive on their own tasks.

2. To gain sales & market intelligence. A CRM is a useful tool for sales and marketing people. A CRM solution collects data about clients and presents it in a way for you to solution collects the data about your customers and tries to make sense of it. You get insights on new prospects, existing customers, and post sales services. 

3. Results closer to established goals. How many times have you established a set of seemingly reasonable goals for a project or other venture, only to end up with an outcome that is drastically different? With BI you can keep track of information, and have it accessible by parties that need it, when they need it. BI goes a long way in helping achieving what you aim for.

4. Return on Investment BI will help a company decrease operating costs and lower overhead costs. For example, if a company is looking to save on storage costs, they are able to see a visual chart of how much they have saved this year compared to previous years. Companies are able to better dictate if they are on track with their new goals and projections. 

5. Gain insights into consumer behavior. One of the main advantages of investing in BI and skilled personnel is the fact that it will boost your ability to analyze the current consumer buying trends. Once you understand what your consumers are buying, you can use this information to develop products that match the current consumption trends and consequently improve your profitability.

6. To improve visibility.  If you want to improve your control over various important processes in your organization, Business Intelligence will improve the visibility of important processes in your organization and make it possible to identify areas that could use improvement.  

7. Turn information into actionable information. A BI system is an analytical tool that can give you the insight you need to make successful strategic plans for your organization. This is because such a system would be able to identify key trends and patterns in your organization’s data and consequently make it easier for you to make important connections between different areas of your business that may otherwise seem unrelated.

Data must be configured to display trends and statistics. Data visualization makes data legible and allows the user to be able to decipher the meaning of it. Business Intelligence Dashboard displays reports on what the company is doing and it shows a breakdown of how each department is doing. Businesses are able to get a centralized view of where they are saving money, and where they are spending too much. 

There are so many important parts to a business, and even though some parts appear to be silos, every part ties into one another. It is important to understand these subtle connections and look at your organization's data from a centralized view through data analytics. It's understanding the subtle connections that can make the difference between a company that excels to the top of the market, and one that makes poor decisions due to not using its data to the fullest potential. 

 

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 Panama Papers 2.6 Terabyte Terror

“This is not a leak. This is a Hack.” – Ramon Fonseca

Known to be the largest and now most controversial data leak of all time, the Panama Papers is a prime case to be examined by information management providers. Mossack Fonseca, an international law firm, is now facing extreme backlash for their ties to foreign money.  Hacked and leaked by an anonymous source, this is the largest recorded data breach in history. The crime in question, the hacking of Mossack Fonseca’s private information has been overshadowed by the scandal of their relationships to foreign politicians and what some are saying, dirty money.

Hacking can occur in a number of ways. The computer systems itself can be hacked and mined for information. Websites can be compromised and emails can be phished. If your organization is a target for a cyber hacking, there’s not much you can do to prevent it. See how the NSA, JP Morgan Chase, and Sony Entertainment couldn’t help but be victims to malicious targeted cyber hacks & data leaks.

However, if you’re not a target with a big red market on your back, then it’s still better to be safe than sorry. Take precautions by improving your information security so that an accidental hacking doesn’t tear down your organization. Here are 3 easy benchmarks any organization can check off, to proactively combat a potential cyber hack.

1.    Perform required software updates for your document management systems, operating systems and web browsers.

2.   Ensure implementation of appropriate firewalls to servers, networks, and devices.

3.   Manage all passwords with an encryption software or change your passwords often.

It seems to be that cyber hacking is the new cool but that’s what makes this all the scarier. As intelligent engineers are lured into employing their skills towards malicious criminal activity, all an organization can do is be aware, proactive, and smart about how their information is controlled.

 

Top 3 Data Migration Focus Points

Now is the time to consider migrating out of your old and outdated records management systems into a modern and efficient information management solution. Upgrading your systems will improve productivity, minimize risks and reassess security needs.

Choosing a new solution may be a challenge depending on budget, usability, and security requirement. Another challenge may be old legacy data or simply the hassle of migration when you’re talking millions of records. Before you take your next step, let’s focus on the top 3 data migration focus points your information team should understand well.

It's fair to ask how difficult a data migration for your entire organization might be. Without proper understanding, mistakes that could be easily avoided will leave your organization with improperly secured data. Don’t drop into these pitfalls. These mistakes cost an enormous amount of time and money to repair. Let’s check out the 3 focus points below. Become acquainted and look forward to your next data migration.

Involve Users at Every Stage

Organizations are all about sharing and warehousing data. This involves a lot of consolidation from different systems securing different forms of information. When migrating data from one system to another, you need to involve everyone who might be affected by it. Allow your end-users to take an active role in the organization and migration of data into the new system. This will ensure a more functional structure or a mirrored structure that’s easy for current users to adopt.

Research Old and New System for Legacy Data Migration

Legacy data is a pain but somethings that’s your luck of the draw. The data in the legacy system needs to be migrated. Spend some time and research your current legacy system and see how compatible it may be with newer systems. Considering legacy systems are either outdated or unsupported, you may have poor quality data that even the best migration specialist won’t be able to fix. This is where the research really counts. You might be able to find a better fit solution for migration or understand ahead of time, saving you a headache or two, that some of that data may not be worth migrating.

Test and Validate Data Before Migration

Waiting until after migration to test and validate data is a disaster waiting to happen. Testing and validation should be done before migration. During the pre-migration stage, your organization should ask questions that assess and evaluate the quality of data currently in your system. Make sure to clean up this data before migration. Dirty data would make any management system defunct.

 

4 Keys to Assessing Quality for Enterprise Content Management (ECM)

Is your Enterprise Content Management at the quality that you expect for your organization? Optimize your ECM system to be the best that it can be. Apply these 4 quick FileTrail tips to your ECM strategy, today.

1. Information Governance (IG) Strategy

The first key to assessing quality for ECM is an IG strategy. Has your organization developed a framework for Information Governance goals and benchmarks? IG stakeholders to look at are:  authorities, supports, processes, capabilities, structure, and infrastructure. Go through these one by one and develop a plan for how these stakeholders should work to support compliance requirements, business needs, and utilize available technology.

2. Clean Data Migration

The next key to assessing quality for ECM is validating your data. Migrating dirty data is a complete waste of time for everyone involved.  Minimize errors and duplications to confirm that your information, whether digital or physical, is cleaned up before migration.

3. Standardized Processes

The third key to success I mean, to assessing quality for ECM is standardizing processes. Stated previously as a stakeholder in key number one, this deserves more attention. If your organization runs through different offices, cities, countries, and etc, it’s important to ensure that all employees know the correct way to capture and secure information. A standard method minimizes errors and duplication, effectively reducing  risks while increasing security. Remember, 95% of cyber breaches are user error, so supply your employees with training on standard processes and best practices.

4. High User Adoption

The last key to assessing quality for ECM is ensuring your system encourages high end-user adoption rate. If your organization implements an ECM system but your employees find it either too difficult to use or simply don’t like it, you won’t be able to capture and store the information that the organization must secure. This is where you keep it simple. Provide a software that is modern and user friendly with tools to help access and retrieve information quickly. If it helps to ease their tasks and increase their productivity, the bonus will be for both the user and the organization.