The Business-Technology Weave

Feb 28 2011   12:36PM GMT

Content Awareness

David Scott David Scott Profile: David Scott


Any organization’s leaders (senior governance, management, board[s]) should have content awareness – but many don’t.  (Of course, the entire organization needs to have content awareness, but the emphasis in today’s post will be on leadership).


Content, from an information perspective, is data the organization harbors, or contains (hence, “content”).  Any data, electronic or hardcopy – irrespective of system or vessel – has to be managed for security, control, access, and use.  Whether that’s data contained in F&A systems, core application and database systems, word processing, presentation programs, on portable drives, in filing cabinets – anything and everything – it must be managed with a 360o awareness. 


We spoke of metadata the other day.  It may seem a burden to tag every piece of content in your organization with appropriate metadata – but recognize:  With a Content Management System (CMS), the assignation of metadata can be automated.  The CMS merely rakes through the content, looks for key information based on controls that the organization sets, and fills in a metadata template which is forever linked to that content.


Such metadata fields could include:


        Source (Author, outside agency, etc.)


        Purpose of data

        Key departments, contributors, stakeholders…

        Authorizations (who is allowed to see/use; who is allowed to edit)

        Disposition instructions:  Archive and/or destruct dates

        Applicable regulations (internal, external, or both) for dispositions

        Date and time of creation

        Any file manipulations such as encryption, passwording, etc.



Metadata can be anything the organization assigns for the control of data.  You determine your own handles and controls for data.


Increasingly, organizations of all sizes must not only protect data, they must have ready access to it.  They cannot afford to overlook any particular information-asset.  Further, they must know how to dispose of content, in avoiding a glut of information that becomes difficult to sort through – slowing systems, corrupting databases, delivering out-of-date data that no longer has meaning or relevancy.


Content awareness – weave it into your organization.


NP:   Sonny Rollins, Saxophone Colossus, on… CD.  I know, I know… when I get home, I’m going to cleanse by playing an original Charlie Parker LP on Dial…  maybe followed by Oscar Peterson at Carnegie Hall…   

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