Faced with the inexorable tsunami of data, too many companies are still struggling to install the necessary protective dikes. As a result, the data is rushing, flooding and overflowing. Structures – large and small – are trying to put an end to the waste of this mass of information and to avoid the traps of “garbage in, garbage out”. The solution: selective sorting. That is to say, to install the culture of data management in order to separate the wheat from the chaff, and to be able in fine to exploit this data at its true value.
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Giving meaning to the data
Data is Malthusian: it grows exponentially, while the capacity of human brains to manage it grows only linearly. Confronted with this reality, experts have developed the 3V concept to translate the challenges of data processing: Volume, Velocity, Variety. However, the first of these “Vs” is taking on astronomical proportions, and the IT field is constantly being forced to adopt new “byte” endings: petabytes, exabytes, zettabytes.
This dizzying growth is taking place in unprecedented terms – some 29,000 gigabytes generated every second, the equivalent of about a thousand Blu-ray discs. For too long, companies have been preoccupied with the storage and collection of these masses of data – so valuable to their business. But today, the focus has shifted. Because, if it is not meaningful, data is nothing more than a dead weight, expensive to maintain, saturating one machine after another.
Data management provides a sharp response to this new challenge – the management and use of data, the transformation of raw materials into refined raw materials ready to be used.
Knowing to better use and exploit data
The whole purpose of data management therefore consists in understanding data as raw material that must be worked on, refined, qualified and then disseminated. This is where the other two “V’s” come into play.
Variety, because the multiplication of sources and formats requires learning to know, structure, prioritize and control data flows.
Velocity, because data is a hot dish – so it must be carefully prepared and served on time, to the right person, at the right time.
To achieve this, the culture of data management must be implemented in the heart of the daily actions of all the company’s employees. It is essential to unite all the technical and business players around a collaborative approach to data management, in order to contribute to the enrichment and refinement of the knowledge of this data and to take full advantage of it. Fortunately, there are methods that facilitate the implementation of such an approach: collaborative data mapping, structuring into repositories, a collaborative corporate glossary, etc.
“To know” – this is the Word par excellence of data management. To know the data, certainly, but above all to know the context of the data – the metadata – in order to exploit its full potential. This is the remedy against the “garbage in, garbage out” trap. Or worse, “garbage in, gospel out”, the principle of blindly believing in the potential of the finished product without having the slightest idea of how it got to the table.