Planning for the data boom

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Are you ready for the data boom? Do you know why the coming together of big data, the internet of things, and machine learning technologies are changing industries across the world? Do you know how this will affect your industry and how you can ensure this becomes an opportunity and not a threat? Do you have tools, processes, and people in place to make the most of the data phenomenon?  Would you like to see some examples of organisations that are creating new products and services by using their organisational data in a smart way? 

These were just some of the questions answered by Alison Holt and Geoff Clarke at a recent lunch held for organisational leaders at the Microsoft offices in Wellington. Alison is leading a project team, with Geoff as one of two project editors, developing a series of standards for the governance of data – the ISO/IEC 38505 series. Alison says the data boom is upon us – data is easier to store (memory is cheaper and data can be made more accessible through Cloud services), easier to move around (networks are faster), and easier to process now (processors are smaller and more powerful) than ever before.

'The combination of these means that it's really straightforward to store, process, and obtain new information from large amounts of data. What does big data look like?  We spoke to a member of the Chinese Securities Commission in Suzhou in May who was processing 4PB of data per day and handling 350 million high value, high velocity daily transactions. The principles of the ISO/IEC 38505 series of standards apply, though, whether your organisation is handling megabytes or zettabytes of data every day.

'Just because you can easily and cheaply collect lots of data and combine different data sets doesn't mean that you don't need a strategy. To maximise the value that you can get from using data, you need to have some form of governance or decision making model around what 'fit for purpose' means for your business. Trend analysis doesn't necessarily require high quality data, but financial analysis probably does. If you're collecting or distributing personal or sensitive data, you will need to be assured that the data is secured sufficiently at rest and in transit. The data boom brings potential for business intelligence as never before, but you need to understand the characteristics of your data before you can derive intelligence or build new products from it.' 

The ISO/IEC 38505 standards are aimed at organisations wanting to develop, deliver, and implement a data strategy. Guidance is provided to assist organisations in developing new directions with data driven services and products, whilst balancing value, risk, and constraints (such as legislation). The first two parts – aimed at the governing body developing a strategy and the management team implementing the strategy  should be available early next year.

Published in business and ICT.