The other day I was reading a report from a conference (which I didn’t attend) but one of the recommendations was to “liaise with business staff to ensure that the metadata they create is accurate, useful and meaningful”. Now that is a very good objective. I think we can all agree easier said than done.
Metadata appears to be popping up more and more from a business perspective as how it can improve (or bust) applications such as search, records management, protection of data, etc. But there is also an associated organizational information risk associated with metadata – meaning the lack of, erroneous, and/or subjective.
Let’s take it out of the day-to-day context of performing business task and look at it from an enterprise perspective. Is metadata a source of risk? Worst case scenario is a data privacy exposure where confidential information is not found and secured and ends up being posted externally. I think we can all agree that it is a risk and quantifiable. But what about the so called ‘soft’ risks that are not so easily quantifiable? The inability to make corporate decisions based on out-of-date information or information that would be critical to the decision process but it is never found? Or the migration of content where it is done in mass, not based on the content within each item, such as content that should be archived, records that were never declared, data security exposures that are just migrate and not protected? These are just a few examples of how ‘metadata’ can be a corporate risk.
Organizations are planting flowers to address single business issues. But I think in many organizations the information risks are not addressed. In other words no gardens. Does your organization proactively identify and address risks surrounding the metadata issue?