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Are You Taking Charge of Your Information? by Ramon Sistermans

Research analysts like Gartner and thought leaders all around the world agree that information should be reliable, as it underpins many operational and strategic business decisions.

Along this line, information governance is an emerging business strategy attempting to regain competitive advantage from earlier investments in data management technologies. In a recent survey, IBM found that 65% of companies from various sectors across the USA are eager to roll out information governance even before the next business year ends. The question however remains: what is information governance about and how exactly should it be implemented? Is there a one-size-fits-all approach as claimed by many software vendors, or does every organization require a unique plan?

At the VU University in Amsterdam, we are looking to find an empirical answer to these questions. Based on a global survey, we want to find out how technology vendors can gear their products towards meeting information governance needs. Our survey focuses on the following research questions:

  • What are business professionals’ perspectives on information governance?First of all, we want to sync up with current opinions on information governance. Academics commonly describe five decision domains of information governance (see figure below) – information principles, data quality, metadata (a.k.a business semantics), information access and information life-cycle management – but do professionals feel familiar with these domains? Do they find them all equally important for their company?
  • How do they think information governance should be implemented in their company?After determining what is important to professionals, we want to find out how they think these decision domains should be supported by technology within their company. Where are they now and where do they want to go? Do they have someone to manage each domain, or do they have any ideas on who should? Since governance is all about making management happen, we are looking to establish roles and responsibilities to allow management of these domains.

With these insights, combined with a study of the current market solutions, we are looking to provide a framework for information governance. Vendors of information governance solutions can use this framework to adjust their approach and ultimately be of better service to organizations.

Information Governance frameworks typically identify five decision domains: principles, quality, metadata, access, and life cycle

Please participate

If you want to help us develop new insights on information governance, we invite you to take our survey that’s directed towards business and IT professionals from all layers of the organisation. It will take no more than ten minutes to complete. The survey will be online till the end of September. The results will be made available online.

Thank you for your cooperation!


Twitter @ramonsistermans; @pdeleenheer

Ramon Sistermans is a master research student on Information Sciences at the VU University Amsterdam. Dr. Pieter De Leenheer is an assistant professor in Information and Service Sciences at the VU and is also co-founder and –director of Collibra nv/sa.

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