The “Corporate Governance” of Data

As any Manager attentive and concerned with the Organizations and people under his responsibility, we cannot ignore the dynamic evolution that Technology has assumed in the World, as well as the impacts that rise from this same Technology for all of us. After all, elections are won and lost, reputations are built and destroyed, wars are started and ended. The foundation and cornerstone always seem to be the same – the Data!

In the late 80's and early 90's, invariably, companies and businesses were fundamentally managed by true "Entrepreneurs" driven by a vision and, in some cases, a "need", arising from the challenges that life itself was imposing. These times were definitely based on the greater weight that “intuition” had in the decision-making process, rather than the analytical information that could have existed and support those same decisions. In fact, even today, sometimes, managers are “accused” of presenting analytical data, which contradict the decisions based on intuition, which Shareholders or Entrepreneurs intend to carry out.

However, the world has become global and complex and, consequently, so have companies. “Corporate Governance” has assumed an increased importance in Organizations. In fact, the International Good Practices (if this term makes sense) imposed the adoption of a set of codes in the Companies that aimed to provide Companies, their Managers and Administrators, with a set of responsible, ethical behaviors that could contribute, directly, so that Companies and Organizations fulfill their ultimate objective – to add Value to their Shareholders and to Society in general.

Times have evolved and we have gone from a society based on spontaneous behavior and prone to “errors”, to a society oriented by facts and evidence that guide our day-to-day. Just realize the importance that “Waze” has in our lives today.

In this context, it is therefore important to reflect on how Organizations/Companies are adapting, given the value that data brings to them. It is essential that Companies and Organizations in general are equipped with a holistic approach and an action plan that allows them to properly implement and measure the success of the analytical efforts that data impose. Otherwise, instead of translating effective value, they may contribute to a set of ineffective decisions and actions, contributing to the guidelines and objectives outlined by the respective Boards of Directors or equivalent Management level.

The “Corporate Governance” must respond effectively to a wide range of basic questions, such as “who” and “how” obtains, aggregates and analyzes the data, reviews it and how it “submits” it to the decision-making body, among other relevant issues.

In short, it is important to define, from the outset, the codes associated with the value chain (spectrum) of the activities, which contribute to the collection, analysis and respective use, which, in the last instance, allows to support managers in the decision-making process, in line with the goals set. Additionally, this spectrum of activities must also be based on determining the responsibility and ownership of each component along the value chain. Otherwise, the data, instead of adding value to the Organization, may tend to destroy them by allowing the Companies not to achieve the objectives outlined.

On the other hand, this new “model” implies that people enhance their skills such as skepticism, critical thinking, ability to adapt and “reinvention”, among others.

In conclusion, none of this can be possible without an effective and adequate Leadership that allows this transformation of Organizations so that they are “oriented” and “based” on Data - After all, elections are won and lost, they are built. if reputations are destroyed, wars begin and end…

As Stephen Hawkins said, “the greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, but the illusion of knowledge”.