IT Brief New Zealand logo
Technology news for New Zealand's largest enterprises
Story image

The data break-even point: How to ensure your data investment is right

Mon 22 Feb 2016
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Understanding the costs of managing data so you can get the “data break-even point” right, means getting a thorough understanding of the cost structure for maintaining data to enable your organisation to know when it’s appropriate to invest in new technology, processes or people, to reduce those costs and increase data value.

There is an ever-increasing demand for correct data to be delivered in a timely manner, so smart business decisions can be made with confidence. This demand has created the need for businesses to manage and view their data not as technology, but just like any other asset, through the implementation of a data governance programme.

A data governance programme identifies key data areas and establishes processes, supporting technology and most importantly, the people to manage the programmes of work. Unsurprisingly though, a successful data governance programme requires a significant amount of monetary investment in both people and technology. But how do you know how much investment is the right amount?

The right point of investment is called the data break-even point. Too much investment and internal stakeholders begin to lose confidence in the data and processes as projects cost too much to deliver. Too little investment, and projects take too long due to a lack of resources.

Unfortunately, the data break-even point is something that many organisations do get wrong – it is very common for there to be no clear understanding of what it costs for an organisation or business to manage its data.

Just as a business establishes processes and guidelines for creating a new product line, the due diligence needs to be undertaken to identify the break-even point for data investments so they can evaluate at which point the correct data management practices are generating value for the business.

This is something that needs to be a whole-of-organisation responsibility, from the top down. The C-suite team needs to have a good understanding of what the data break-even point is, and drive awareness and change the internal culture.

As with standard business practice, it’s important to understand at which point in time your investment is going to start generating value. Just like when a business creates a new product line to sell, to do due diligence it will invest in market research, design, prototyping and building the production line, which will be included as production costs. A particular value will be set that it wishes to sell its product for and the numbers required to break-even. This is the point at which costs for the product are just being covered.

It’s the same for data. Perform due diligence and get an understanding of the data, outlining the formats, rules and processes under which that data operates and generates value for your organisation.

Unfortunately data value is a difficult ROI to define. There are many cost factors associated with data assets, ranging from software development to human resources for maintaining the data, technology investment business as usual/operational costs, and costs for fixing data faults.

There are two options available to help your organisation move above the data break-even point:

Reduce costs: We can achieve this by using data integration automation tools, such as Biml, to reduce the amount of time need to create data.

You can also make use of tools that help identify and automatically fix data quality errors (e.g. Microsoft Data Quality Services) or ensure that we support master data concepts through using tools such as Maestro. Cost reduction can also be achieved by ensuring you have enterprise data modelling processes in place. This facilitates development time through documentation of data lineage, traceability and overall understanding of the data elements needed.

Increase data value: We can increase the value of the data by adding metadata and ensuring everyone within the organisation has the same understanding of what the data represents. In addition, adding master data management concepts ensures there is a single version of the truth or one ‘gold record’ which increases global understanding, as well as reducing cost.

Your data governance programme should address process, tools and framework for managing your data assets. This also implies the implementation of a continuous monitoring programme with a range of key performance indicators that measure how often data quality problems occur, what types and how many occurrences. This will provide information on addressing the problems up-stream by modifying applications that manage the data or by changing the business processes that operate on the data.

Of course, the big question is how can you measure successful business decision-making. Increasing reliability and confidence in CRM data could be measured through successful marketing campaigns based on the percentage of accurately contacting customers (i.e. the contact data in the CRM system was correct), or what the percentage was of items returned due to incorrect contact details. For an insurance business it could be measured through a noticeable increase in retained customers or a noticeable reduction in processed claims, the latter indicating you have an increased portfolio value.

KPIs on data integration project delivery will show how productive the processes and toolsets are for developing data integration applications. Measured against the amount of rework, these KPIs will highlight whether processes or toolsets will need to be updated or replaced.

So, there are many methods of gathering the base-line information to start creating a data break-even point dashboard. Although the road to achieving this may be an arduous one, the end goal of having a data break-even chart and a very clear understanding of what this point is, and how much investment is going in to the management of your organisation’s data, will help ensure you are getting the most out of one of your business’ most valuable assets.

You can get more information on this and many other information management related issues at www.dama.org

Article by Robert Blaas of Mettle Consulting

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Data ownership
Brands must reclaim trust by empowering data ownership
According to Twilio's new State of Personalisation Report 2022, 62% of consumers expect personalisation from brands, and yet only 40% trust brands to use their data responsibly and keep it safe.
Story image
Compliance
Stock security features inadequate in face of rising risk
"Organisations must proactively find ways of identifying unseen vulnerabilities and should take a diligent, holistic approach to cybersecurity."
Story image
Cybersecurity
Video: 10 Minute IT Jams - An update from CrowdStrike
Scott Jarkoff joins us today to discuss current trends in the cyber threat landscape, and the reporting work CrowdStrike is doing to prevent further cyber harm.
Story image
Vendor
Forescout reveals top vulnerabilities impacting OT vendors
Forescout’s Vedere Labs has disclosed OT: ICEFALL, naming 56 vulnerabilities affecting devices from 10 operational technology vendors.
Story image
Commerce Commission
ComCom puts electronics sector on notice over resale price maintenance
The Commerce Commission has concluded an investigation into allegations that television manufacturers were engaging in illegal resale price maintenance.
Story image
Microsoft
Volpara, Microsoft project to detect cardiovascular issues
Volpara Health Technologies is working with Microsoft on a research and development project to speed up creating a product that detects and quantifies breast arterial calcifications (BACs).
Story image
Amazon Web Services / AWS
Zscaler, AWS accelerate onramp to the cloud with zero trust
Zscaler has announced an extension to its relationship with Amazon Web Services, as well as innovations built on Zscaler's Zero Trust architecture.
Story image
trust
Consumers want personalisation, but don't trust brands with their data
Customers expect personalisation during every brand interaction but they don't trust brands to keep their personal data secure and to use it responsibly. 
Story image
Talend
Forrester names Talend Leader in enterprise data fabric
Forrester has named Talend a leader among enterprise data fabric providers in the Forrester Wave: Enterprise Data Fabric, Q2 2022 report.
Story image
Dark web
Cybercrime in Aotearoa: How does New Zealand law define it?
‘Cybercrime’ is a term we hear all the time, but what exactly is it, and how does New Zealand define it in legal terms?
Story image
Cybersecurity
Significant security concerns resulting from open source software ubiquity
"The risk is real, and the industry must work closely together in order to move away from poor open source or software supply chain security practices."
Story image
Data
MYOB improves data visibility and user access with Snowflake
"Solutions such as Snowflake allow us to better understand our customers and make evidence-based decisions on what features work best for them."
Story image
eCommerce
Robust digital warehouse management crucial in Asia-Pacific
Thanks to a network of “cloud” stores, grocery and food delivery providers such as Foodpanda can arrange for these commonly requested items to get packed up and sent over in almost no time.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Unknown connections: How safe is public WiFi in Aotearoa?
If it's not your own household WiFi, then who has control of your data and is your connection actually safe?
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Accenture shares the benefits of supply chain visibility
It's clear that gaining better visibility into the supply chain will help organisations avoid excess costs, inefficiencies, and complexity to ultimately improve their bottom line.
Story image
Cybersecurity
The link between cybersecurity, extremist threat and misinformation online in Aotearoa
Long story short, it's often the case that misinformation, threat and extremism link closely to cybersecurity issues and cyber harm.
Story image
BitTitan
How to achieve your monthly recurring revenue goals
Monthly recurring revenue (MRR) is the ultimate goal, the most important issue on which anyone in the IT channel should focus.
Story image
Network Security
Netskope announces zero trust network access updates
Customers can now apply zero trust principles across a range of hybrid work security needs, including SaaS, IaaS, private applications, and endpoint devices.
Story image
Partnerships
Microsoft expands APAC Enabler Mentorship Program
"Mentors are the key to success for every professional. A good mentor is a coach, a guide, as well as a vocal advocate."
Story image
Christchurch
Enable launches free Wi-Fi in Christchurch city centre
Fibre broadband provider, Enable, and the Christchurch City Council have launched their new Christchurch Free Wi-Fi service in the central city. 
Story image
Cybersecurity
Why is NZ lagging behind the world in cybersecurity?
A recent report by TUANZ has revealed that we are ranked 56th in the world when it comes to cybersecurity - a look into why we're so behind and what needs to be done.
Story image
Infrastructure
Global investment in data centers more than doubled in 2021
DLA Piper's latest global survey finds the total investment in data center infrastructure worldwide rose from USD $24.4 billion in 2020 to USD $53.8 billion in 2021.
Story image
Microsoft
SMX partnership with Microsoft leads to NTT recognition
SMX has captured the attention of NTT after receiving positive reviews from businesses across Australasia and beyond for its email security.
Story image
Tech job moves
Tech job moves - ActiveCampaign, Arcserve, LogRhythm & Qlik
We round up all job appointments from June 17-22, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
Training
Employers look to hire inexperienced coders due to skills shortage
"Even inexperienced workers without prior qualifications or experience had managed to pivot to new roles in coding as long as they are willing to upskill."
Story image
Government
Cyclone selected as NZ MOE software licensing partner
Following a recent Request for Proposal (RFP), Christchurch-based company Cyclone Computer Company Ltd (Cyclone) has been selected as The Ministry of Education’s software licensing partner.
Story image
Citrix
The best ways to attract young talent during labour shortages
New research from Citrix reveals hybrid working and ventures into the metaverse are top of mind for Gen Z workers.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Ingram Micro launches vendor-backed security program
Ingram Micro has unveiled a new program intended to give resellers the effective offerings their customers need to stay safe in the evolving threat landscape.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Cybersecurity priorities for digital leaders navigating digital transformation
In recent years, Asia-Pacific has especially been a hotspot for cyberattacks, and as we continue into 2022, it’s evident that the problem is becoming more significant.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Stax and Consegna partner to accelerate modernisation
According to a statement, the new alliance will help both companies expand their reach across the region and realise joint goals.
Story image
Healthcare
Workday winning on culture and family focus
This family-first approach sees all employees receive access to family-wide private healthcare cover, as well as income protection and life insurance policies.
Story image
Trend Micro
5G network projects driven by improving security and privacy
Trend Micro's new study reveals the prospect of improved security and privacy capabilities are the main motivations behind private 5G wireless network projects.
Story image
API
Industry-first comprehensive risk-based API security enhances protection
Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) have become a crucial part of operating web and mobile application businesses and are causing significant economic growth in the digital sector.
Story image
Sustainability
Honeywell launches new carbon energy management software for buildings
The new Carbon & Energy Management service allows building owners to track and optimise energy performance against carbon reduction goals, down to a device or asset level.
Story image
Hybrid workforce
Why hybrid working is here to stay and how to ace it
Citrix's new report reveals hybrid workers are more productive and engaged at work than their office and completely remote counterparts.
Story image
Internet of Things
Global 5G subscriptions to top one billion by the end of 2022
Global 5G subscriptions are predicted to pass the one billion milestone by the end of 2022, according to a new report.
Story image
F5 Networks
Telstra, F5 team up to bolster services and solutions
“This partnership demonstrates our ongoing investment into APAC as we continue delivering high value services and solutions to our partners and customers."
Story image
Market growth
Salesforce unveils new offerings for consumer goods companies
Salesforce has announced new products for consumer goods companies to help brands navigate increasing market complexity more easily.
Story image
Airwallex
How Airwallex helps businesses achieve globalisation success
As markets continue to shift, businesses need to be able to provide the same quality of service for customers regardless of where they are located around the world.
Story image
Cryptocurrency
NOWPayments launches new service to analyse cryptocurrency fees
NOWPayments has launched a new network fee optimisation solution that analyses current network fees and picks the most profitable option out of the client's payout wallets.
Story image
PagerDuty
Ready for anything with the PagerDuty Operations Cloud
In a world of digital everything, teams face increasing complexity. Ever-growing dependencies across systems and processes put customer and employee experience, not to mention revenue, at risk.
Story image
Entelar
How TruSens air purifiers can create healthier workspaces
The pandemic has heightened our awareness of our own and others’ health, and made us all much more conscious of the environments we work in.
Story image
Testing
Video: 10 Minute IT Jams - An update from Tricentis
Tricentis provides software testing automation, and software quality assurance products for enterprise software.
Story image
Microsoft
TO THE NEW unveils A/NZ Managed Services for Microsoft Azure
TO THE NEW has released Managed Services for Microsoft Azure to meet the growing demand in the A/NZ market and globally.