In our final report from the Gartner BI Summit in Las Vegas, NV, we explore another important takeaway from the conference: the rising need for sound data governance and quality in the face of changing data storage standards and usage expectations. Past models leveraged a single monolithic data warehouse while today’s enterprise is more likely to rely on multiple Cloud-based collection and storage technologies with more individuals accessing and using data at all levels. More data means better decision making, but only if data and analytics are governed in such a way to maintain a single version of the truth.

What does the changing data landscape mean for the supply chain? With new technologies collecting data from touchpoints throughout and beyond the warehouse, it’s more important than ever to maintain high data quality and governance standards. Here are a few rules to keep in mind:

Treat Information as a Valuable Asset: With Big Data comes big responsibility, and one of the first goals of any organization must be to ensure that collection and security of data complies with governmental regulations, corporate bylaws and policies, as well as corporate information governance principles, policies, and standards. If recent data breaches have taught us anything, it’s that the need to protect and secure data will only grow more important over time.

Appoint a Leader:  As more members of the supply chain and retail operation collect and leverage data to make better decisions, it’s important to ensure consistency in collection and reporting—and to hire a Chief Data Officer (CDO) to define an enterprise-wide data and information strategy. This individual is also responsible for setting and communicating a single set of guidelines throughout the organization. By hiring a CDO, companies place the responsibility for managing the quality and security of that data with the CDO while freeing users to actually leverage information to make better decisions.

Ensure Consistency:For data and analytics to be valuable, consistency is crucial. Companies need a governance strategy that not only leverages technology to collect and manage data but also implements a single set of guidelines for accessing that data. One way to accomplish this goal is with a tool like Voxware’s Intellestra, which brings data from multiple sources into a single portal for consistent analysis and predictions for all users.

According to Gartner, by 2017, 33% of global companies will experience an information crisis as a result of poor data governance. At this rate, virtually one third of companies still have great strides to make in order to avoid costly and brand-damaging events in the future. Adapt to the changing data landscape by implementing sound standards today.