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Guest Post: Valuation of Information

The following is part of our guest blog series.

Jane C. Allen and Brian Fox, who advise organizations on e-discovery, forensics, and a broad range of additional IG topics in their roles at PwC, wrote this piece, and it is published as it was provided. PwC is an IGI Supporter

Information valuation is the topic of the keynote address at the CIGO Summit. PwC will also be there talking about their model, and we also have a deep dive session on models and calculators that are in use now at several organizations. There are still a few seats left -  register here. 

The Information Economy

It’s often been said that we are in an information economy. But what is the actual value of the information that’s driving it, and how do you measure it?

Is your information an intangible asset such as goodwill? Is it related to the volume or recency of data? Setting aside the accounting implications of information value measurement on balance sheets and overall company valuation, the idea of being able to use valuation as a means of weighing the economics of our own efforts around information governance is compelling.

That’s why we created this framework, which we call VOI — valuation of information.

(Some) Information Has Value

The notion of information having business value is not new.

Consider the willingness of investors to buy stocks in companies that hold information — even in apparent contravention of their financial performance. Or the large-scale IPOs or acquisitions of data-based companies (often devoid of significant physical assets), even with formal accompanying statements that the company may never make a profit.

There are countless other examples (both legal and illegal) where data is valued — bought and sold, for commercial purposes. But there’s a missing piece to the discussion, which is the implication that information is somehow a monolithic thing. Anyone who works in the field of information governance knows that nothing could be further from the truth.

All Information Is Not Created Equal

Let’s look at some examples. Some information is highly valuable: Think customer buying activity data or the explosive growth of “Internet of Things” devices carefully collecting and curating data on our every move. These are the data we expend significant effort and resources maintaining, protecting, mining and analyzing.

Some information could be highly valuable, if only the attributes of the data were a little better — better quality, a larger population, a little more normalized, a little better managed. (Think of the potential, for example, of activity trackers that collect geolocation, activity, weight, demographics, etc.)

Some information has no value, or at least none that you can perceive today. (We’ve never met a company that argued when we showed them that a very large percentage of their enterprise information went unused for five years or longer.) Even if there were some “secret gems” hiding in the oceans of dead data, expensive work would need to be done — in forms of both time and money — before you knew if you could extract a net value.

Some information costs you money, either because it is misleading, inaccurate, too inaccessible or has too great a noise-to-signal ratio and therefore impairs your ability to find truly valuable information.

No Assets Without Liabilities: It’s True of Information, Too

Many companies employ third parties at significant cost to perform data analysis that is too difficult for them to produce on their own. Many are mindful of the potential risk exposure that could arise in the wake of a cyber-breach, and are forearming themselves with cyber-insurance.

Clearly, information valuation is fraught with practical difficulties. If the aim is to value information assets, we must also be willing to consider information liabilities. We must consider the ways in which information can be improved (or can deteriorate) — and how that could impact its value over time. And crucially, we must account for one of the particularities of information: the fact that, unlike other assets, the same information can be used in many different cases — with a commensurately accretive value.

What’s needed is a systematic approach that enables a company to evaluate units of information — one that acknowledges imperfections, reveals opportunities and guides our resource allocation in a rational way. In this spirit, we offer a framework for the Valuation of Information (VOI).

The VOI Framework

Our VOI framework is composed of twelve dimensions grouped into four categories. The attributes are used to measure the business value of the information in the service of a specific use case.

The four categories are:

  1. Information Scope. How closely does the breadth (in time and population), depth and completeness of the information match the ideal data set for a given use case?
  2. Information Quality. How well does the quality of data elements, their structure and the traceability of the information support confidence in the analysis for a given use case?
  3. Information Accessibility. How easy is it to access, analyze and manipulate the information for a given use case, and how easy is it to integrate the information with other key systems in that use case?
  4. Information Scarcity. Sometimes it is the scarcity of information that drives its value. In such use cases, this category measures how unique the information at hand is, both today and into the future.

PwC Valuation of Information Model

Put VOI to Good Use

We hope this new VOI framework will help companies think differently about their information and explore new use cases that could bring needed attention to potentially hidden value, previously unexplored. And while we acknowledge that there is much room for debate and refinement, we think this is a meaningful first step to the process of credibly tackling information valuation — with potential for real-world, short-term benefits.

Information valuation is the topic of the keynote address at the CIGO Summit. PwC will also be there talking about their model, and we also have a deep dive session on models and calculators that are in use now at several organizations. There are still a few seats left -  register here. 

 

Support Our 2017 Research Into Governance Of Long-Term Digital Information

UPDATE: THIS SURVEY IS NOW CLOSED
THANKS TO ALL WHO PARTICIPATED!

Results will be published shortly.
Join the IGI Community to receive an
automatic update when this research is published.

We are pleased once again to be working with IGI Supporter Preservica to conduct research into the critical issue of long-term digital information. In 2016, with the generous support of Preservica, we conducted benchmark research in this area, finding that virtually every organization surveyed (98%) has digital records and information it must keep (or wants to keep) for longer than ten years, but very few (16%) have a viable approach.

In 2017 we are continuing our research in this area by conducting a short survey of information professionals that delves further into this critical issue, focusing on the specific external drivers (like laws and regulations), business processes, and risk and value-focused goals that inform organizational strategy on long-term records and information.

This survey will only be open for two weeks, so please take a few moments to complete it today. The survey is open to all IG practitioners (i.e., those people charged with doing some type of IG work at and for the organization at which they work - not for an external customer or client).

The results will be made available through a report freely available in our Community Site and we will also be reporting results at the 2017 MER Conference, and at our annual Chief Information Governance Officer Summit, happening May 10-11, 2017 in Chicago, IL. Don’t forget to register today.

 

We Are Less Than One Month Away from the 2017 CIGO Summit

It’s time for the Third Annual Chief Information Governance Officer (CIGO) Summit. The CIGO Summit is a by-invitation-only, executive event for senior leaders in cybersecurity, information management, law, privacy, data analytics, records management, compliance, and other IG-related disciplines.

The age of big data means organizations have more information under their control than ever before. Unlocking the true potential of your data starts with having a new kind of information leader: the Chief Information Governance Officer (CIGO). How exactly is a CIGO critical to their organization’s success? We’re asking you to help us answer that question.

Our roster of 2017 speakers for the CIGO Summit, happening May 10-11 in Chicago, will lend invaluable insight across the IG board. With participating experts from many different facets of Information Governance, we will be hearing from Mark Milone (Senior Counsel, The Boeing Company), Doug Meier (Director of Trust & Compliance, Pandora)Aaron Murphy (Information Governance Manager, McCormick & Co.), and Roman Coleman (Attorney, The Options Clearing Corporation) to name a few. To see the full list of speakers, click here. Join us May 10-11, 2017 in Chicago for another fabulous, idea-rich event with some of the best and brightest minds in IG.

We look forward to seeing you!

 

Support International Research Into IG at Public Authorities

The IGI is proud to support the work of institutions around the world doing research and and other work to promote our understanding and adoption of IG as a discipline and a profession.

One of those group is the InterPARES Trust, a multi-national, interdisciplinary research project exploring issues concerning digital records and data entrusted to the Internet. Our friend and colleague Vicki Lemieux (who has been instrumental in advancing our understanding of these issues) has asked us to let you know about a research project that could use your help.

Their research survey aims to capture perspectives on the nature of Information Governance in order to enhance their understanding of this developing domain.

In particular, they are focusing on those with IG experience within public authorities.

So if this is you, please take a few moments today and complete the survey. The survey has 15 optional questions and should take about 10 minutes. You can also save your work and come back to it later. The survey closes on April 3 at 4 pm PST.

The research is a partnership between the iSchools at UCL (Dr. Elizabeth Lomas, Dept. Information Studies) and University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland (Dr. Basma Makhlouf Shabou, Prof. Dept. Information Sciences, Geneva School of Business Administration HEG). For any questions or further information, please contact Prof. Dr. B. Makhlouf Shaboubasma (Principal researcher) (email: makhlouf-shabou@hesge.ch)  or Dr Elizabeth Lomas  (Co-investigator) (email: e.lomas@ucl.ac.uk).

 

E-Discovery and IG in 2017 and Beyond: The Recording of Our Online Discussion Now Available

We had a great online discussion this week with IGI Charter Supporter OpenText about trends in e-discovery and IG for 2017 and beyond. We also talked about the significance of their recent acquisition of Recommind and what it says about OpenText's product strategy and the market in general.

The video will be available here on our public site for a week, at which point it will move to the Resources section of our growing online community, where you can create a profile and interact with your IG peers. The slides from this online event will also be available there shortly.

 

Don’t Forget to Register for our Post-LTNY Webinar

Reminder: Join Us for a Live Discussion on Wednesday, February 8th AT 1PM EDT

Register Now!

In our first webinar of 2017, IGI leaders will host a discussion with subject matter experts from IGI Charter Supporter OpenText

UPDATE: Our experts will also share most important IG and E-Discovery trends and developments they just saw and heard at the LegalTech conference in New York, Jan. 30-Feb. 1, 2017.

We will discuss:

  • New delivery models for e-discovery capabilities that support a comprehensive approach to IG.
  • Evaluating the relationship between ECM and e-discovery as we mature and build our IG programs.
  • Perspectives on what IG and e-discovery will look like in the near future.

Register Now!

Discussion Participants

 

Bennett B. Borden Headshot

Bennett B. Borden

Chief Data Scientist and Chair, IG and eDiscovery Group, Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP; Founder and Chair, IGI

Bennett B. Borden  is a globally recognized authority on the legal, technological and policy implications of information. As Chief Data Scientist at DBR, Bennett is responsible for the firm’s data analytics strategy. He is founder and Chair of the Information Governance Initiative.

Barclay T Blair Headshot

Barclay T. Blair

Founder and Executive Director, IGI

Barclay T. Blair is an advisor to Fortune 500 companies, software and hardware vendors, and government institutions, and is an author, speaker, and internationally recognized authority on information governance. He is the Founder and Executive Director of the Information Governance Initiative.

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Hal Marcus

eDiscovery Attorney and Product Marketing Executive, OpenText

Hal Marcus works with the innovative team at Recommind, an OpenText company, to transform discovery through analytics. A graduate of the University of Michigan Law School, Hal practiced as an intellectual property and antitrust litigator at an Am Law 100 Wall Street firm before embarking on a career in technology that now spans 20 years.

Register Now!

Webinar Background

We predict that 2017 will be a landmark year, with our research showing an accelerating number of organizations transitioning from talking IG to doing IG. While early adopters have now moved past foundational and risk-focused IG activities, the much larger middle segment has to date spent most of their time writing policies, establishing steering committees, and evaluating their technology options. This vast middle segment is beginning to shift into execution mode, implementing their IG frameworks into their technology environment, appointing IG directors and other IG leaders, and tackling their first big IG projects.

Nowhere will this be more obvious than at the intersection of e-discovery and IG. Like enterprise IT itself, e-discovery is experiencing massive disruption as heavily litigated organizations evaluate the right mix of service providers, cloud infrastructure, and internal technology horsepower and expertise. Traditional e-discovery approaches like “pay by the GB” that were based on service bureau models are less relevant in a reality where e-discovery is managed on a continuum as just one of many IG activities. This evolution creates new challenges, but also creates exciting opportunities for IG leaders to leverage the same tools, policies, and governance structures across their IG activities, instead of inefficiently managing e-discovery as an exception with its own set of rules and technologies.

In 2016, OpenText—best known as a leading provider of Enterprise Information Management (EIM) software—acquired Recommind, a pioneer in the application of advanced analytics to find, review, and produce information in high-stakes e-discovery. The acquisition is an example of an IG provider “putting its money where its mouth is” in betting on a vision of truly integrated IG.

Join us on our first webinar of 2017, which will be a discussion between the leaders of IG and experts from OpenText following LTNY. This webinar will provide a valuable opportunity for the IG community to hear directly from OpenText about why they made the Recommind acquisition, what it means for customers of both organizations, and what it means for their vision of e-discovery and IG.

Register Now!