Every time I drive my car, I think about the possibility of an accident. I constantly imagine being rear-ended at a stop sign, T-boned at an intersection, or crushed under the wheels of a freight truck in my realm of possible scenarios. An accident – if not the catalyst for my untimely death – would at least open up my wallet to a world of hurt.
Even though vehicular accidents are common enough, my daily fear of being involved in a car accident are somewhat irrational. Statistics has my back. Despite having hundreds of hours behind the wheel, I have yet to be the cause or the recipient of an accident. What are the chances that today is the day I have my first accident? If history is any indicator, I would have to say the actual probability is quite low.
Regardless, I have invested in auto insurance in the unlikely event that I am the victim (or the unfortunate cause) of a motor accident. The insurance protects me for over $150,000 in costs associated with damages, repairs, and medical fees all for the low fee of $115 a month. If I continue to pay for auto insurance at this same fixed rate, I’ll have paid well over $60,000 by the time I’m 65. During the same time period, I might not even have a single fender-bender.
At the surface level, insurance is a gimmicky concept. Although I pay for the service monthly, I never see any tangible benefits… until I actually have an accident. But this protection, the futureproofing of my finances, is exactly what I am paying for. I don’t pay for insurance because I am accident-prone, I pay for it because it will cover my ass when I really need it: not to mention that California requires me to have it. Therefore, on the fateful day that I finally am involved in a collision, I will not have to panic and scramble to put together the money. I can be assured that insurance – the service I have invested in throughout my life – will make necessary reparations.
In many ways, information governance is like an insurance policy. By continually collecting, preserving, and organizing data, companies are making sure that their data will be defensible and easily searchable when they need it. This practice aids your company not only when litigation hits, but also in improving everyday processes.
Something seemingly mundane and ongoing – such as insurance or information governance – can actually set the foundation for something much more exciting. Information governance provides the backbone of proactive analytics; when data is constantly aggregated and cleansed, it is available for near real-time processing and analysis. Consistent maintenance and management of data allows analytics to function fluidly, helping to cut the costs associated with culling and cleansing data. Proactive analytics isn’t a tool that can be purchased, because it fundamentally depends on long-term data management. An investment in that governance architecture today ensures that company data will be readily accessible for analysis in the future.
Just like how Geico provides me with a proactive protection plan for my car, proactive analytics is the practice of investing in your data collection for payoffs in the long-run. Analytics, rather than being a product, is an extension of governance. Embrace governance practices now, and you’ll “insure” better analytics results down the road.