Category Archives: Definition


Companies begin to move towards the use of quantum mechanics into practical application.

“A Quantum Leap for Computers Looms,” The Wall Street Journal, May 8, 2017 B4.  Huge processing speed increases possible when processing and analyzing huge volumes of data.

You think you have ediscovery problems now, wait until the qubits disappear or mutate (sublimate?) to a different state.

Leave a comment

Filed under Access, Analytics, Data quality, Definition, Discovery, Information, IT, Legal


Sunlight is a great disinfectant.

“Solar Firms Probed Over Hiding Client Cancellations,” The Wall Street Journal, May 4, 2017 A1. Did SunRun and SolarCity “fail to disclose” the number of customers who canceled after signing up for a home solar-energy system?  The SEC thinks that that is important information for potential investors to have.

So, both the SEC and the companies “manage,” or control, this information in one or more respects.  How well does your company’s”management” of its information measure up to the government’s requirements?  Is that a compliance problem or an information governance problem?  Or both?

Leave a comment

Filed under Accuracy, Communications, Compliance, Controls, Corporation, Data quality, Definition, Duty, Governance, Government, Information, Investor relations, Oversight, Value


I don’t do this often.  But I wanted to take a moment to be shamelessly self-promotional.

I gave a presentation at the ARMA Spring Conference in Houston on April 25, 2017.  The subject was Information Governance, and dealt with how to establish effective relationships with others in your organization with an interest in managing information.  I have a rough cut of the presentation, together with an audio track, on my personal consulting website, at  Here’s a link: Information Governance ARMA Spring 2017. This is an MP4 file done with an old copy of Camtasia, and runs about 46 minutes.

My intended takeaways include:

  • a simplified definition of “information governance,” focusing on the What and a bit of the How and a bit of the Who
  • “Information” includes both written and unwritten information
  • there are three universal duties of employees in most common law jurisdictions, like the US: the duty to comply with the law while doing your work for the company; the duty to comply with corporate instructions and policies; and the duty to report material violations.
  • a matrix approach to dealing with your fellow travelers.

I hope you find it useful.

Leave a comment

Filed under Definition, Duty, Employees, Governance, Information

What you don’t say

If a corporation fails to raise “‘known trends or uncertainties'” in securities filings, has it committed fraud against third parties?


“High Court To Weigh Corporate Omissions,” The Wall Street Journal, March 28, 2017 A2.  Supreme Court to hear a case involving suit by investors against company for omissions in public filings, otherwise the purview of the SEC.

So, does this mean that unspoken information is “information” subject to government regulation or third-party litigation?

Leave a comment

Filed under Accuracy, Board, Communications, Corporation, Definition, Duty, Governance, Inform market, Inform shareholders, Information, Oversight

Do you track what’s the normal cost?

“Venezuela Alleges Fraud in $1.3 Billion Oil-Rig Lease,” The Wall Street Journal, March 16, 2017 A10.  “Officials at PdVSA [the state oil company in Venezuela] were accused of embezzlement by paying inflated fees.”

How do you track whether the company is paying inflated fees to companies owned by Saudi princes, with a no-bid contract to an industry newcomer?  You do track that, don’t you?  As a director you would want to make sure that people weren’t paying too much for service contracts.  Why would the state oil company pay inflated rates?  Aren’t these bribes going the ‘wrong’ way?  Or was it just waste and incompetence?  The difference is only $250,000 a day for seven years.

Do you consider the information governance aspects of the FCPA, beyond the books and records?  It is good that the government checks.

Leave a comment

Filed under Board, Compliance, Compliance Verification, Controls, Corporation, Definition, Directors, Duty, Employees, Governance, Government, Information, Internal controls, Oversight, Oversight, Protect assets, Risk Assessment, Risk assessment


Data Deepen Legal Insights,” The Wall Street Journal, December 14, 2016 A3.  Lawyers look at piles of data about judges’ rulings and “predict” how a specific judge will rule in a specific case.

Are past rulings on different facts a reliable indicators of future rulings?  Yes, the data itself is interesting, but do lawyers have special skills in analyzing what that non-legal data means?  Can you separate the facts from the opinions, and weigh each appropriately?

I am a big fan of probability-weighted risk analysis, and have long been an adherent to Marc Victor’s Litigation Risk Analysis.  As one of many inputs into setting a litigation strategy.  But only one.


Leave a comment

Filed under Analytics, Collect, Definition, Information, Use, Value

A new area of ESI

ESI, or electronically stored information, is all the rage in ediscovery.  But there’s a new frontier.

“Cellphone Smudges Yield A Trove of Forensic Data,” The Wall Street Journal, November 15, 2016 A3.  It may be possible to recover enough from the smudges on your cellphone to tell a lot about you.  Not a fingerprint, yet.

Is a smudge “information”?  Skin flakes?  Sweat?

How do you govern this?  What can you use it for?  Can you store it?  Delete it?

Leave a comment

Filed under Accuracy, Data quality, Definition, Discovery, Information, Use