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Valery Guilleaume12.12.20172 min read


How to Transform “Data” into “Good Information” and the 1 thing you need to avoid filling expensive Data Lakes

80% of Data Lakes do not include effective metadata management capabilities, making them inefficient (Gartner).

“Less than half of an organization’s structured data is actively used in making decisions" (Leandro DalleMule & Thomas H. Davenport – HBR)

In the last Post, I have mentioned the transition any CIO or IT Manager has to lead to become the Strategic partner of any C-Suite; bridging the traditional Defense – Offense approach. (You can read it here if you haven’t)

This week, let's review immediately how to transform data into good information along with the Why it becomes critically important.

First, the “Data Proliferation”. Data becomes, like it or not, an intangible asset of any company. No matter if you are in Research, Public or Private Organizations, in B2C or B2B to analyze consumers behaviors, gain insights on market trends or to rationalize the existing business, “Good Data” will be needed to make “Good Decisions”.

Worse, Data follows the 4 V’s: Volume (more and more), Velocity (Faster and faster), Variety (more and more different forms) and Veracity (faith in what the Data really is to make an informed decision).

The 1st Rule to Transform “Unstructured Data” into ” Good Information”.

The only way to “Structure Data” is by using “Effective Metadata”.

Information that cannot be retrieved and processed for relevant analysis is simply data without real business value and it’s not an “Asset”.

And effective Metadata obeys to a few rules called “Semantic Layer”.

 A semantic layer is a business representation of corporate data that helps end users access data autonomously using common business terms. A semantic layer maps complex data into familiar business terms such as product, customer, or revenue to offer a unified, consolidated view of data across the organization. (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: access the full article here :

To keep it simple, Semantic means ‘From the User Perspective”. And to make even simpler, in most cases, 1 layer is enough and should be your first step.

 Do you have a strategy for defining your “Metadata”?

A set of defining rules to trace back the date, the product, the patient / product / service / author / .., some characteristics, the sequence number, the machines where the data comes from, name it…

Only with an efficient set of metadata, that information can be easily found, used, compared, analyzed or used to model future action plans.

This first step is easy to do and it’s time to start now – knowing what you know now even if tomorrow will ask for more.

A very last point I have learned during the many discussions and presentation…

The single Semantic Layer Metadata is an abstraction that enormously helps to solve many issues and helps to decrease complexity through a well-designed interface that in turn boost value creation and value protection for any company by enhancing: Data Usability, Data Acceptance, Data Understandability, Data Compliance, Data Governance, Data Security / Restricted Accessibility, Data Scalability,…

It sounds easy and it’s quite easy to do. So why wait?

In my next Post I will review how make IT Capital Expenditures and Operations Costs more predictable even when the data proliferation and unpredictability is at play more than ever.

Once more I will share with you some very insightful best practices I gained with leading CIOs who are already successfully implementing these solutions.

Stay tuned !

Best regards

Valéry Guilleaume

CEO and Founder of Nodeum