Streamlined, comprehensive information governance is one of the most critical tools for businesses to master. In today’s era of Big Data, managing everything from old records to last month’s data transactions to the most recent social media posts is not only possible but even expected. Yet, while companies are starting to move more toward recognizing the need for organized data governance, many are still forgetting an important detail: ensuring that their methods are conducive to potential electronic discovery efforts down the road.
An information governance assessment is critical to taking the current pulse of any data organization efforts that are already in place, as well as planning ahead strategically for data storage and management needs that are flexible and adaptable for your future evolution. Here are some tips to help complete your assessment with the greatest accuracy and efficiency.
Start as soon as possible. The earlier you can begin gathering evidence and data for your assessment, the less stressful it will be. It’s better to recognize that this is a time-consuming process and give yourself the needed leeway for a thorough assessment rather than get rushed and end up cutting corners that leave you with a patched-together IG strategy that doesn’t truly meet the needs of your business.
Inform your staff. Letting your employees in on your plans as soon as possible will ensure that things go more smoothly. They can also offer valuable insight into daily operations or ways to improve efficiency that can contribute to the development of your IG strategy.
Concentrate your efforts. Although this may seem like such a large project that it needs to be spread out in small bits across several days (or weeks), the results are usually more consistent and comprehensive if you set aside time for a more methodical “fell swoop” approach.
Don’t fly solo. No matter how much you may like handling things all on your own, this is one time where you want to call on the help of some extra eyes and ears. Recruit some talent to help you with your assessment according to the old adage that many hands make light work.
Check your efforts against necessary guidelines. Industry-specific guidelines, like HIPAA compliance, will have a different set of standards. Double-check your processes and goals against these guidelines to ensure that all of the necessary metrics are being met.
Document everything. Keep notes on all your processes in case they need to be referred back to later on. Be sure that notations are standardized across all other team members who are assisting you with the assessment process.
Schedule review dates right now. The assessment isn’t a static, stand-alone process; committed action plans are required. Scheduling review dates as part of the assessment ensures that there are hard follow-ups for verifying that everything is right on track.