Data Classification & Thick Ankles

So, one of the best things about my Data Asset Management job (love that DAM job) is that I get to talk to really really really smart, creative & brave people.  I lunched with one of those today.  Sun acquired the company that he founded & where he worked as it's CEO.  Now he works with me & boy are we going to have some fun!

We were discussing various issues in the data world, including Data Classification.

Here's what I think about this little beauty that I like to call the enterprise version of the "Why don't I have Cindy Crawford's booty?" problem.


I would love love love if every bit of data was metatagged at it's collection & further tagged with an expiration date.  How I wish I had a backside that looks like a fashion model after \*she's\* has a couple of kids.  (Hey, I'm not \*that\* mean to myself!)

 Here's the thing.  I love donuts.  I ride my bike all the time but I travel all the time and, well, I love donuts.  I'm also genetically only 5'6" with legs that only comprise about 2" of that.

 You have legacy data.  We all do.  We love to acquire companies, their customer expectations, policies, IT systems and their strange data & data habits along with their people & technology.  (That's how we acquired this very very cool new company and, my new buddy.)

You also are not stopping to take the time to classify your data comprehensively all the time.  You're not.  If you \*think\* you are, we're having a rather large sale on free downloads for a billion dollars per download-- just kidding legal people. ;-)

Data classification is a bit like cutting down on donuts or taking up exercise.  I t will always help you build awareness and increase the probability that you are spending the right money on the right data protection problem. classification applied today is an investment in going forward over time.  It will take some hard work & discipline to make it a habit & eventually a healthy addiction.

Data Classification will not make you taller or prettier.  You need the rest of the people, process and technology all married to the appropriate culture to work that kind of DNA magic.  You can and should & may soon be legally required to do the best you possibly can to protect your data assets.  Your ultimate ability to compete will likely turn on your ability to leverage your unique information assets & classification is a part of that story.

Hmmm.  Wonder what will happen if I have a donut \*on\* my bike ride tomorrow...  I still won't have Cindy's booty, but I'm willing to take the risk.

Just a thought.... 


Thanks, Michelle, for making me simultaneously want a donut and wish I hadn't eaten so many earlier. Seriously, I love the analogy.


Posted by Valerie Fenwick on October 09, 2008 at 06:02 AM PDT #

Thanks Michelle. As you know I was an engineer for over 30 years in the entertainment sound business. As a part of the SMPTE (Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers), scientific committee years ago we established a linear time code for synchronizing and editing video and audio. This code would accomplish many things within the wordlength in the form of 80 bits per frame/word based on a 24 hour clock at GMT. Besides direction, rate of speed, and frame number, there was at the beginning of each word 8 bits reserved for metadata. We didn't even know at the time what metadata was but figured it would be useful in the future. Through forensic investigation that little 8 bits has been vital in identitifying the source of the video or audio program as well as for notes to accompany the program. Besides being useful for editing many a court case has been settled by way of this code.

Posted by John Taylor on October 13, 2008 at 05:17 AM PDT #

Hi MIchelle,

What do you do at Sun?

Posted by BooBoo on November 01, 2008 at 04:36 AM PDT #

Hi Boo Boo,

Information strategy, privacy & hope.

M ;-)

Posted by me on November 01, 2008 at 01:22 PM PDT #

I'm Banyan and I think your views on data classification were very inspiring.

Posted by Banyan on April 26, 2010 at 09:58 PM PDT #

I think you're views on data classification are correct.All companies are implementing this useful tool.

Posted by Dataclassification on April 27, 2010 at 07:14 PM PDT #

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