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Introducing Quantified Information Governance

Cover of IGI Quantified Information Governance Special Report

“We are living with the consequences of a generation of attempts to force analog practices to work in a digital world. It has failed.”

Barclay T. Blair, Quantified Information Governance Special Report

Our lives are increasingly quantified by data. The demand for devices that track and analyze the data we generate just by living have given rise to the “quantified self.” Analysts predict that by 2020, the market for fitness wearables will grow to $10B USD, with over 100M people using the devices to enable data-driven decisions about health, sleep, exercise, and other critical aspects of their lives.

The promise of data-driven decision making is this: processing and analyzing data at a scale far exceeding the capabilities of the human brain will transform our ability to understand and predict reality. The IGI believes that the ability to govern information in a way that enables these deeper insights, unforeseen efficiencies, and new business models will separate the winners from the losers in this new era.

But we still have a long way to go. While we invest in technology that can beat a human at Jeopardy® in one part of our organization, we are stuck with the technology that prints Trebek’s cue cards in another. For all the big data sexiness, “up to 80% of the total development cost of an analytics project” is spent on “data discovery and wrangling . . . the most tedious and time-consuming aspects of an analysis.

Most organizations don’t know what data they have, where that data lives, what the data means, what rules apply to the data, and whether or not the data represents measurable value or risk. Consequently, our data is messy, incomplete, difficult to find and access, duplicative, and missing context essential to enable its analysis and use. In short, we are living with the consequences of a generation of attempts to force analog practices to work in a digital world. It has failed.

In fact, most organizations make management decisions about their information based on tradition, superstition, and supposition instead of innovation, evidence, and analysis.It's time that our approach to governing our information caught up to the information age. It's time for a new idea.
We believe that this new idea is Quantified Information Governance.

We have captured our thesis, vision, and guidance on Quantified IG in a new Special Report written by Barclay T. Blair, Executive Director of the IGI. Quantified Information Governance: A New Path to Value from Data, our first piece in what will be an expanding focus for us, was published with the support of Guidance Software.

Quantified Information Governance: The application of smart technology and evidence-based practices to the governance of information. It ensures that we have essential facts about our information and our operating environment so we can make evidence-based decisions.

Click here now to receive your complimentary copy of our new Special Report from IGI Supporter Guidance Software.

Existing IGI Community members can also login and download it here.

Sign up here to join the IGI Community to access our extensive library of IG research and tools including our Annual Report, whitepapers, case studies, infographics, and more. You can also use the Community to connect with your peers and discuss your IG issues with them.

IGI Social


We're going even more social and will be hosting our first Twitter Chat today from 12:30 PM ET to 1:30 PM ET.

During our live Twitter Chat, we'll be discussing the results of our Annual Report 2014 in a Q&A format. We invite you to actively participate in the chat providing your answers, comments and thoughts to the questions and answers tweeted. To participate, follow #IGIchat on Twitter and include the hashtag #IGIChat in your tweets to make sure you are in the conversation.

You can follow the discussion and participate by using the Twitter Chat window below.

What is IG?


During a ZyLAB webinar on August 12, 2014, Barclay T. Blair (IGI Founder and Executive Director) spoke with Mary Mack, Esq., Enterprise Technology Counsel of ZyLAB, about the Information Governance Initiative’s Annual Report 2014: Information Governance Goes to Work.

View the full webinar below.

The IGI Annual Report 2014 and related infographics are available for download now at www.iginitiative.com/community (registration required).

Join the IGI:

Not a member of the IGI Community? The IGI Community (Beta Version) is a place for practitioners from all facets of IG to come together and learn from each other. The IGI Community includes a public area where registered subscribers can access select IGI resources, and a private, by-invitation-only membership site for working IG practitioners. Join today.



“In the wake of the financial crisis, several nations initiated regulatory reforms that create prescriptive and granular information governance requirements.”

- Information Governance in a New Era

IGI Special Report

Karen, associate general counsel at a global media and entertainment conglomerate, was having a bad day. She was on the phone with outside counsel, and the news was not good. During the discovery phase of a critical case, her lawyers had made a mistake – a big one. Counsel had represented that the company turned over all the evidence in the case – but they had not, despite three months of round-the-clock work with IT and the records managers that resulted in turning over millions of email messages and thousands of boxes of paper records. Now, the lawyers had discovered a cache of old backup tapes in a closet in Boise and a half a dozen storage lockers full of paper records in Slough. This was going to be painful.

Six months later, after the smoke had cleared, Karen called for a post-mortem. They had avoided a deathblow sanction but were eventually forced to settle for millions more than the worst case projection. Even worse, they had exposed their flank for future cases.

Karen wanted answers.

Why doesn’t a company of our size and sophistication know what information it has and what it doesn’t? Why does it take months of work and hundreds of thousands of dollars to find and produce the responsive information? Why are we keeping all of this information? Does the law require us to keep it? Does it have any value to us? Do we have any repeatable way to decide what to keep and what to throw away? Finally, who owns this problem?

IT throws up their hands and says, “Hey, garbage in, garbage out. We just run the systems, but the business owns the information.” The business isn’t buying it, and legal is left holding the bag.

Across the globe, people like Karen in organizations of all sizes are asking the same questions. We may live in the Information Age, but many organizations are stuck in the Stone Age – effectively piling their information in a dark cave and hoping that nothing bad happens.

Unfortunately, hope is not a valid strategy in an increasingly complex and consequential records management environment – an environment in which new, complex laws and regulations dictating the retention and management of specific information are created seemingly every day. This is an environment in which developing nations are modernizing regulatory regimes and creating new information governance requirements at the same time. This is a world where information is exploding, especially the most challenging kind of information to manage – unstructured information.

In this Information Governance Initiative Special Report we explore recent key developments in information governance and their impact on global organizations.

Note that if you already registered to join the IGI Community, you will have received an email message with a direct link to the Report.