For me — being part of one of the last generations to grow up without a mobile, iPad, internet, etc. — it’s amazing to see what impact data has on our society. When more or less everything is connected to the internet, and thereby becomes a source of data, new demands and business models arise. Companies are challenged as new competition pops up from places that did not exist 10-20 years ago. Suddenly, the collection of data and the value therein is challenging the businesses that were on top of the data-game just a few years ago. To stand up to this, companies must ensure that their employees and IT-systems are prepared and adapting to the new landscape around them.
Data compliance is becoming increasingly more important
With the rise of data as an integrated part of companies’ business models, the focus on data compliance has become even higher. For certain verticals, such as finance, banking and healthcare, it is a business-critical matter to ensure that you are compliant and have full control of your data. Looking at the data landscape of today, this is something that is far from easy. For many companies, the reality is a complex environment that consists of multiple involved systems and steps throughout the data value chain. As an example, we have an asset management firm in New York, where the trust of their BI and data is a matter of survival and staying competitive.
On your path to ensuring BI and data compliance there are a number of questions that need to be answered:
- Can I trust the data in my BI applications?
- What data sources/systems have been used to build this application? Are they all governed and approved or are there any other non-approved sources used?
- From the origin of the data — what steps has it passed through on the way and have there been any changes made?
- Are the metrics used in my applications consistent and in line with our definitions?
- What applications are used? Do we have any applications used that have not been developed based on our governance guidelines?
- What processes do we have in place to secure the actual quality of the data?
Achieving data compliance throughout the data value chain
Looking at these questions, there is a lot that needs to be controlled and secured in the value chain – from the original source of the data all the way out to the actual application or dashboard. My experience tells me that to achieve full compliance in your BI you need to focus on the following:
To achieve compliance, it needs to be top-of-mind for everyone. If compliance is a core demand or need for success, then it must be something that is on the daily agenda for all involved.
You must focus on a clear governance strategy that includes the whole BI and data value chain. If the data used in your daily business needs to be compliant, then you need to start focusing on what actually passes through the hands of the business user. It is not enough to secure compliance and have a governance process that covers everything until the BI tool – the BI tool must be an integrated part of this structure.
Ensure that you have the necessary systems in place in order for everyone in your organization to have full insight into your BI and data value chain. To stay compliant, your business-user must also be able to trust and understand the BI environment. Having full insight from source to dashboard can in many cases be key to establishing trust when meeting with customers and other external stakeholders.
BI trust and understanding is essential
Data is here to stay and it grows fast. In any business, it is essential to build full trust and understanding around your BI data in order to survive. Compliance is something that should be important for all companies – because the essence of compliance is to ensure that you drive your business in the best possible direction.