Data assets are hard to get your head around. They not like physical assets such as PCs or laptops or services or buildings. I mean electronic data assets here. They hide in the ether. Just like that thing called love ‘You can’t see them with your eyes, hold them in your hand, but I like the wind they cover this land.’ Johnny Cash will be turning in his grave.
We have a data asset register. It is a great start. It covers both physical and electronic records but it seems a little light. Each of them has been assigned a data owner, yet my name does not appear on the list. I would have thought that Active Directory should be in there. Perhaps not but it is worth a thought. That is what I’m going to do, think about it.
A data asset is a piece of information that contains valuable records. It can be a database, a document or any type of information that is managed as a single entity.
The question I need to ponder on is ‘How do I get to find all of the data assets said we have?’ The supplementary is ‘Which should be recorded on the register?’ All of them or just the important ones? Whatever that means.
I have two lines of inquiry. I am assuming that all applications produce data. Some applications contribute to more than one data asset and so the number of assets must be greater than the number of applications. Again I am making the assumption that all processes that consume data will create a data asset. Some of these are clearly associated with an application but others may not and will produce their own data asset.
So these are my two angles, applications that produce data and processes that produce data. Of course it is much easier to write it down than to sort it all out.