It is no longer disputable: Information management champions have successfully evangelized the message that data is an asset. You know it, your colleagues know it and the executive suite knows it.

Decision-makers within your organizations increasingly rely on data assets to make wise, informed, consistent decisions. As information managers, we are now expected to make data work for our organizations and deliver it to the people who need it, when they need it, how they need it.

But now that everyone is aware of the need for usable data, how do you do it?

In our cover story this month, Stuart Schiffman advises readers to create an information framework that contains all the processes of creating meaningful information from raw data through analytics. "An information framework establishes a process to figure out the current state of your organization's analytic capabilities," he says, "sets goals for where you'd like to be and decides how to get your business analytics there."

Along with recognizing data as an asset, businesses know that data becomes much more valuable when it is governed. A study from The Information Difference shows that data governance has gained acceptance and is finding new traction in more places in the coming year. You can read about the findings from the survey in David Waddington's piece, "Data Governance, MDM and Data Quality."

A nice dovetail to a structured information management framework and proper infrastructure is the institutionalization of repeatable business processes to employ the data you value so much. Follow Tal Ball's five steps to develop these processes and simplify decision-making within your organization.

Your guide to easier decisions is here.


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