What is a Data System Inventory

What is a Data System Inventory

StockSnap_ZZYYB84WE6_servers_systeminventory_BPData is everywhere at an organization in many data systems. And growing all the time. This data needs to be understood, individually and collectively, and cannot be done without a data systems inventory. This blog post will answer what is a data system inventory after defining what is a data system.

It is important to have the necessary information about each data system used at your organization (company, non-profit, higher education institution). But building a data system inventory is not easy. Organizations need to take defined steps to build their data system inventory and maintain it. There are many pieces to the data systems inventory that adds complexity.  Feel free to check out our complexity blog post

There are many benefits of having an inventory of your data systems at your organization. Click here to read our blog post on data system inventory benefits. Part of the knowledgebase for data governance, having a data system inventory and knowing where your data is located is usually a good initial task in your data governance initiative.   What to store in a data system inventory such as the basic 'must have' information and then items to add maybe in a phase two can be found in this blog post. Make sure you have a tool like the Data Cookbook where this data system inventory information can be stored and accessed.

First, you need to define what is a data system at your organization. Our definition of a data system is any source or target for data processing. This includes database type systems such as application databases, operational data stores (ODS), data warehouses, reporting data models (physical or logical), spreadsheets, unstructured data sets and shadow systems. A data system can also be protocol type systems such a flat-file extracts and APIs.

Second, decide what you will do in the phase one of the data system inventory creation. Make your list of all your data systems. Prioritize the heavily used or accessed data systems. And decide what content you want to have in the data system inventory keep on each in phase one. Do the content necessary for the inventory on the selected priority systems first. Remember that how staff gets access to these data systems is a key piece of information that should be stored in the inventory and viewable by staff members. For more information on the content for a data system inventory read this blog post.

Next, do phase two items such as adding additional data systems and gathering additional content for each data system. You want the amount of information in the data system inventory to grow and improve so that the staff gets benefit from access to the data system inventory.

Finally, you need to link the data system to other data governance related content so that it has additional benefit. For example, the technical data models of the data system should link to the functional business glossary items. Also, policy attributes (data access, security, data sharing, privacy, and retention) should link to the data system inventory.

Hope you enjoyed this blog post on what is a data system inventory. For additional resources on a data system inventory (blog posts, videos, recorded webinars) click here.

IData has a solution, the Data Cookbook, that can aid the employees and the organization in its data governance, data intelligence, data stewardship and data quality initiatives. IData also has experts that can assist with data governance, reporting, integration and other technology services on an as needed basis. Feel free to contact us and let us know how we can assist.
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Photo Credit:  StockSnap_ZZYYB84WE6_servers_systeminventory_BP #B1153

Jim Walery
About the Author

Jim Walery is a marketing professional who has been providing marketing services to technology companies for over 20 years and specifically those in higher education since 2010. Jim assists in getting the word out about the community via a variety of channels. Jim is knowledgeable in social media, blogging, collateral creation and website content. He is Inbound Marketing certified by HubSpot. Jim holds a B.A. from University of California, Irvine and a M.A. from Webster University. Jim can be reached at jwalery[at]idatainc.com.

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