A Primer on Information Governance: How to Make Your Information Behave

  • by Ina L. Mutschelknaus, Director, Solution Management, SAP Labs
  • Mike Keilen, Senior Director, Solution Management, Enterprise Information Management, SAP Labs
  • May 27, 2011
Learn how information governance can be applied to one project, or started with one data domain, and can then be extended to the entire enterprise. Ask the right questions to get your company in the right place with information governance, regardless of what system or solution you are using.
Key Concept
Information governance is a management process that provides oversight to ensure successful execution of your information initiatives. It involves the management of people, information assets, and processes to policies, standards, and objectives, including the ongoing oversight necessary to manage data risks.

Information governance is the process of domesticating your wild information. Right now, you have feral information hiding in spreadsheets on laptops. You have information that is not following the basic house rules. (You might not even have documented house rules.) The result of all this information in the wild is chaos and value leakage. Imagine your house with five wild dogs in it. Now imagine your house with five perfectly trained dogs in it — the situation would be much better. The difference is clear, but often the process of moving from point A to point B is unclear. Information governance is that process.

If you were dealing with a house, you might need dog whisperers to domesticate those wild dogs into well-trained ones. In the case of information, you need information whisperers. These information whisperers normally have titles such as business analyst, data analyst, data steward, master data specialist, or global data manager. They must understand how information behaves, which policies need to actively govern the information’s behavior, and how to understand if the information is, in fact, behaving.

In this article, we’ll discuss how information governance helps you move from point A to point B, relying on best practices gleaned from our ASUG Data Governance Special Interest Group, experience with companies using SAP systems, and industry experts. Best of all, the techniques and tools mentioned in the article apply to any information-heavy project, including SAP Customer Relationship Management (SAP CRM) implementations, business process engineering, predictive analytics, master data management implementations, data migrations, and more.

Ina L. Mutschelknaus

Ina L. Mutschelknaus is a director of solution management for SAP solutions for EIM. She has been with SAP BusinessObjects since 1997. Ina currently works on information governance and end-to-end use scenarios. She has managed data cleansing, matching, profiling and assessment, and user experience. She has also focused on bringing these rich capabilities to master data management. You can follow her on Twitter @InaSAP, or check out her blog at http://www.sdn.sap.com/irj/scn/weblogs?blog=/pub/u/251921993.

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Mike Keilen

Mike Keilen is a senior director of solution management for SAP solutions for EIM. He has been with SAP BusinessObjects since 1991. Mike has provided leadership across EIM and enterprise content management (ECM) topics in various engineering, product, solution, and partner management roles. He is currently responsible for SAP’s information governance, migration, cloud/SaaS, and enterprise content management solutions. You can follow him on Twitter @MikeKeilen.

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