Why call it Information Governance, and not the traditional Data Governance?

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If the Business should own, sponsor, drive and pay for this, then we should call it Information Governance (IG), not Data Governance (DG). Like it or not, the word ‘data’ often bears negative connotations with Business executives. They hear ‘data’ and think ‘problems’, or ‘IT’.   But use the word ‘information’, with its positive connotations […]

If the Business should own, sponsor, drive and pay for this, then we should call it Information Governance (IG), not Data Governance (DG). Like it or not, the word ‘data’ often bears negative connotations with Business executives. They hear ‘data’ and think ‘problems’, or ‘IT’.
 
But use the word ‘information’, with its positive connotations of business value and strategic insight, and the Business is more likely to listen, based also on the often intuitive assumption that information = data + context/process.
 
Gartner was one of the first major organizations a few years ago to move from DG to IG, also to align it with their wider Enterprise Information Management terminology and also because ‘data’ suggests it’s only about structured data (some Gartner reports, rather inconsistently, still refer to “Data” Governance as well). Forrester still calls it DG, as do most tool vendors.
 
You could easily argue that they are different concepts, but trying to differentiate between IG and DG becomes academic quite quickly and unless you agree on one term only you’re even more likely to lose your critical Business Directors’ attention.
 
[this is part 11 in a 14-part blog on Capgemini’s “QuickStart Information Governance” framework]
 
For more information on QuickStart Information Governance, please contact Ralf Teschner.

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