News

Content and records management: ensuring your data assets can work for you

News
Information Management
Content and Records Management
January 16, 2020

Making informed decisions based on the variety, volume, speed and veracity of big data.

Data mining, data warehousing and data protection—now more than ever, data is the currency of choice in personal exchanges as well as institutional and business transactions.

When was the last time you paid in cash? Like most people, you probably use data to pay for everyday purchases and renew your insurance contract. Paying “with data” has become so common that we don’t even think about it when we use our debit or credit card to buy a bag of chips or a pizza.

For companies, this new context has translated into an unprecedented volume of data to be managed. We no longer talk about megabytes (MB) and gigabytes (GB), but instead terabytes (TB), petabytes (PB) and exabytes (EB). It’s huge!

Big data: IDC estimates that by 2020 each of us will produce 1.7 megabytes (MB) of data per second, the equivalent of a two-minute song. Big Data: every day, Google processes dozens of petabytes of data in the form of requests. Big Data: over one million videos are uploaded to YouTube each minute. Imagine 10,000 Blu-ray discs and multiply that by … Then again, don’t bother. It’s too big to grasp.

With the 5G rollout, these figures are destined to explode. So too will the demand for systems and infrastructure capable of handling this high volume of data, and for experts who can develop and implement them.

Big data: A process and operating procedures challenge

For companies as well as for pubic and parapublic organizations, to talk about “data” is to talk about “content,” and to talk about “content” is to talk about “omnipresence.” The challenges posed by this characteristic of digital content to be everywhere at the same time are mind-boggling. On top of the challenges of localization, storage and classification are those of data warehousing and protection, to mention just a few. These challenges can impact procedures as varied as invoicing, supply, archiving, monitoring and updating. In fact, all operational and decision-making processes are affected.

Data and content: Your information assets

Like sap flowing in a tree, a steady circulation of data and content keeps your organization running. While some may be anecdotal or useless, some are critical and concern your:

  • Clients;
  • Suppliers;
  • Partners;
  • Potential clients;
  • Policies and procedures.

Data and content take different forms:

  • Texts;
  • Images;
  • Videos;
  • Sounds;
  • Digital legal documents.

They are stored on various types of media:

  • Paper;
  • Workstations and laptops;
  • Servers;
  • Smartphones and tablets;
  • Optical discs.

With your content becoming more diversified and growing exponentially, it is probably becoming increasingly difficult for you to locate it, use it and manage it. How is it possible to make informed decisions under such conditions? The answer lies in the question: informed decision-making. To make an informed decision, quality data is needed.

The crux: data quality

Statistics Canada defines a number of quality attributes related to data. Here are a few.

  • Relevance and usefulness: the data pertains to the topic we are interested in.
  • Coverage: the data represents the topic in its entirety.
  • Accuracy and reliability: the data correctly describes the topic it is measuring and is accurate over time.
  • Standardization and conformance: the data follows recognized standards in terms of format, naming conventions and dissemination standards.
  • Protection of sensitive information: the data is made available solely to users granted specific access.
  • Processability and understandability: users can manipulate, interpret, explore, analyze and use the data.

One of our first objectives when we support an organization with content and records management is to create an information infrastructure that reflects its business model. This approach consists in mapping the data ecosystem—the data’s internal and external flow and interrelations, the content it conveys, the records containing it, the applications that make use of it and the infrastructures that store it.

While this approach enables an organization to inventory its data, content and records, it also provides an index of the quality and strategic value of those assets and points to what action would be best based on their life cycle. Depending on where the data and content are in an organization’s process pipeline (creation, recording and filing, distribution and consultation, archiving and disposal), the organization could assign a “viability index” to that data and content based on their contribution to its goals and projects. Once the map has been clearly drawn, with all the countries and continents, all that remains is to model and computerize its content.

This approach offers many benefits. We will, however, mention only one, but it is an essential one: business intelligence, or the ability to make informed decisions by transforming data into quality content that can be used for business or administrative purposes, or both.

Don’t get buried under your organization’s data. Cofomo can offer you an array of practical services and solutions to transform your data into strategic assets.

Please don't hesitate to contact us for additional information.