Who Should Own, Control, and Manage Your Big Data?

Copyright (c) 123RF Stock PhotosIn recent history, some businesses decided to determine who would make it their primary jobs in the company to ensure that all received data is secure, of the highest quality possible, and cohesive across multiple applications for easy access. This position was referred to as the “data steward.” This concept may have come into fruition before big data exploded, but now the data steward is an increasingly integral part of company management.

Who to Trust with Big Data

The increased relevancy of big data in the business world is providing a difficult challenge for data stewards. As a recent article in The Wall Street Journal made clear, there currently isn’t a consensus among businesses regarding who should actually own and control big data. IT, business, and legal departments are each considered viable candidates.

Data analysis is becoming a growing focus point for many businesses in order to improve operations and predict future trends in an industry. Normally, the CIO of a business is in charge of collecting, managing, and storing information, but according to The Wall Street Journal, legal departments are ideal for maintaining and controlling big data because of possible liability. The article also states that they are better for big data management because of their adherence to vendor contracts and agreements, and their ability to retain trade secrets.

The argument against legal departments having control is that more insightful data might be permanently inaccessible regardless of necessity. While IT might be a better choice in the eyes of many, the IT department isn’t typically trained to recognize how data could improve future business opportunities or trends.

The Rising Importance of Big Data Ownership

While big data management may not have been as much of a crucial asset years ago, it is now considered to be an invaluable asset in the survival and progression of a company. Andrew White of Gartner has stated that business owners “need to manage information, rather than just maintain it.” Gartner made the prediction that at least one-third of Fortune 100 companies will suffer an information crisis because of their inability to properly manage their data.

In the end, businesses should always have the final say over what data the company receives as well as how it is analyzed, while IT helps ensure that data meets the company’s requirements. Big data management, all in all, is a team effort.