There’s a football axiom that says, “defense wins championships”. The truth is, it’s an effective balance of offense and defense that actually leads to success. The same need for balance can be as true for football as for your data strategy

In their Harvard Business Review article, “What’s Your Data Strategy,” Leandro Dallemule and Thomas Davenport discuss important strategic aspects. They organizations need to identify the right balance between ‘defense’–data security–and ‘offense’–the ability for business users and decision makers to turn that data into actionable information.  Their chart below visually captures these seemingly opposing concepts:

It seems so obvious.  One of the key reasons to have all this data is to help business users make informed, fact-based decisions – or in other words, play offense.  That means accessing available data in real time, often from multiple data sources.  Ad hoc queries and information on demand enables decision makers to call the ‘audibles’, and this can be a game changer for your business.

However, no amount of “data offense” will create a winning environment if the data isn’t kept secure from both corruption and unauthorized access.  This is where the “defense” can come in.

Add the specter of regulatory compliance from governmental, industry and corporate standards, and finding the optimal balance of offense and defense (or access and security) becomes harder to achieve.

Finding the Balance

There is no easy answer and one size never fits all.  However, it’s important to find the perfect balance to ensure your data strategy is both highly secure and highly profitable. A good place to start is by selecting the right tools to give you control and flexibility. Set that balance point to best meet your enterprise requirements and avoid too much of either extreme.  Your data and decision makers can improve business value, giving you the knowledge to plan for the future.

Add it all up, and you could have a plan to win again and again.

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[Access vs. Security vs. Compliance – A Winning Data Strategy]

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