Category Archives: Use


What does blockchain have to do with information governance?

It’s early days yet, but think about what happens with information.  It gets created, modified, transferred, stored, used, reused, exchanged, and, hopefully, deleted at the end of its life.  Would it be useful to be able to track who owns the information and where it is at each step of its life?  Is a piece of information that much different than a cargo container being tracked from origin to destination?

Just saying.

“Blockchain Has Power to Transform,” The Wall Street Journal, March 12, 2018 B4.


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Filed under Operations, IT, Information, Use, Governance, Interconnections, Controls, Third parties, Analytics, Access, Accuracy, Supervision, Technology

What do you have and where do you have it?

The title of this post is a common question asked in the Information Governance arena.

“Freight Tracker Adds Funding In Hot Market,” The Wall Street Journal, February 21, 2018 B4.  Expansion at company that tracks where shipments are and when they will arrive.

Clearly, this information on a real-time basis is valuable to shippers and customers.  Is there a difference between the value of the information (where the shipment is) and who owns that information?  Or is it just who can profit from collecting and reporting the information?  Who would have thought an entrepreneur would monetize this, rather than the companies handling the shipments?  Did the shipping companies not realize the value of an asset they had?

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Filed under Access, Data quality, Information, Operations, Use, Value

Kobe (3)

The adventure continues, after Kobe Steel announced earlier this month that workers at several different facilities had fudged paperwork on product quality, dating back to at least 2007.  Apparently, getting that type of paperwork accurate is important.  To someone.

“U.S. Looking Into Kobe Steel Scandal,” The Wall Street Journal, October 18, 2017 B3.  Department of Justice kicks off a request for information after company disclosures about practices in Japan. Affects product sold into manufacturers of train, planes, and cars.

More to follow.  Expect Congress to weigh in shortly.  Again, the problem occurred in more than one facility, over a period of years.  Is that a failure of compliance, or culture, or both?

An example of the intersection of governance, compliance, and information.

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Filed under Accuracy, Compliance, Controls, Corporation, Culture, Data quality, Definition, Duty, Duty of Care, Employees, Governance, Information, Internal controls, Oversight, Reliance, Use, Value

Kobe Steel

Not Kobe beef.

“Suspect Metal Rattles Car Makers,” The Wall Street Journal, October 12, 2017 B1.  A supplier (Kobe Steel) falsifies some of its product-quality paperwork.  Result:  manufacturers of planes, trains, and cars (and others) need to check that the faulty material doesn’t compromise safety.

How valuable is the information you get from your vendors?  How accurate is it?  Do you verify?


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Filed under Accuracy, Compliance, Controls, Corporation, Data quality, Duty, Duty of Care, Governance, Information, Internal controls, Oversight, Third parties, Use, Value, Vendors

Close that barn door!

“Banks Weigh Shift From Equifax,” The Wall Street Journal, September 13, 2017 B14.  Hack of 143 million accounts causes banks to turn to Equifax’s competitors.

Talk about closing the barn door after 143 million horses have bolted!  What are the banks doing to prevent the fraudulent use of the information obtained through the hack in their decisions to issue or deny credit?  Merely moving to a different credit bureau doesn’t begin to address the flaw in the banking system’s reliance on your Social Security Number and date of birth to uniquely identify you.

Not that I’m calling for a National ID card.  Maybe we should all have a microchip, like our pets.  Don’t we need a new solution, suitable for the digital age?

See related note at “Hack of All Hacks,” September 12, 2017.

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Filed under Access, Accuracy, Controls, Corporation, Duty, Duty of Care, Governance, Information, Internal controls, Operations, Oversight, Privacy, Protect assets, Third parties, Use, Value

There’s gold in them thar hills

What are you buying when you go to the grocery store?  Organic bananas?

Not if you’re Amazon.

“Big Prize for Amazon: Shopper Data,” The Wall Street Journal, June 21, 2017 B5. Amazon seeks to buy Whole Foods, but for what?  Its hard assets such as stores and locations? Its customer base?  Its purchasing and distribution network?  More likely: information on how shoppers shop.

If you’re the government agency in charge of approving or disapproving this deal, how do you analyze the impact on competition?  What is the “market” that needs to be analyzed?  Is this a vertical or horizontal deal?  Or something else?

Is most of the value (to Amazon) in this deal the information that it gets?  Where’s that on the Whole Foods balance sheet?

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Filed under Access, Analytics, Information, Operations, Use, Value

You manage what you measure

If the Board asks how much the company paid for something, “I don’t know” isn’t a good answer.  Neither is “We can’t track that today.”

“Algorithms Help Calpers Tally Fees,” The Wall Street Journal, May 23, 2017 B1. The question was how much the pension plan had paid private-equity managers in performance fees.  It turns out the answer was $3.4 billion, over 25 years, with $490 million last year.  Answer was derived using algorithms.

“It took five years to develop a new data collection system that requires private-equity managers to fill out various templates describing their various fees.”

How comforting – a self-graded exam for $3.4 billion in fees.

What’s information worth?  How can you manage without it?  How did they?

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Filed under Access, Analytics, Board, Collect, Controls, Corporation, Data quality, Directors, Duty, Governance, Information, Internal controls, Management, Operations, Oversight, Oversight, Protect information assets, Third parties, Use, Use, Value, Vendors