Stop hoarding data and start managing it.

Position:News & Numbers

Today's rapid pace of data growth provides agencies with unprecedented insight into the needs of the citizens they serve. With more data, however, comes new challenges around organizing, storing and protecting this information, according to a report from GovLoop and Veritas.

The report cites a study indicating that approximately 69 percent of a government agency's data had no value to the business of government. Another study indicated that 80 of an organization's electronically stored information is redundant, outdated, or trivial. Still another found that 78 percent of technology decision makers believed that less than half of their unstructured data had any value or was mined for content in any way.

And by the way, data are proliferating at an average rate of 39 percent a year.

The annual cost of data ownership is 39 cents per gigabyte per month, according to another citation--not an insignificant cost. To cut costs and make better use of information, the report suggests that governments create an information governance strategy, incorporating the policies, controls, and information lifecycle management processes organizations use to control cost and risk. The first suggestion is that the quality of data be consistent, the result of well-documented and repeatable processes and accurate data collection automation. Another suggestion: make sure information conforms to set standards, which can be controlled by automated data tagging or other strategies. Finally, the report stresses that the volume and complexity of the data must be easily manageable, observing that "this is usually done with automated data processing for analytics, and visualizations such as dashboard interfaces."


The report urges governments to think of information as a strategic asset. Establishing policies about data allow administrators...

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