A majority of companies interested in data lineage have traditionally been located in the downtown area and were primarily concerned with international finance. Considering the fact that central business district firms generally had to maintain digital contacts with firms outside of the Union, this made sense.
However, this paradigm is starting to shift in a big way. Namely, companies that have their primary headquarters in London’s 32 separate boroughs are now starting to concern themselves with the business intelligence questions related to the roots of the data they’re collecting. According to experts, this is at least in part to the fact that networked business communications are impacting even the smallest firms.
Statistics suggest that 60 percent of consumers have suffered a data breach in the last year. This is putting increased pressure on companies to learn more about how they collect data and what they do with it once they have it stored.
Companies trace their informational histories
Having a history of the information a company collects is quickly proving to be very useful even to small business owners. Those who don’t know where data is coming from might suffer from a lack of consistency across their organisation. Likewise, they would often be unable to locate data across various systems.
Manually doing so is nearly impossible, especially for companies that don’t have dedicated IT departments. Managers that would rather watch reruns of the IT Crowd on Channel 4 than actually hire genuine IT specialists have found that turning to certain types of tools are helping them to solve this increasingly difficult problem with a minimum of effort.
Automated data lineage tools can scan through multiple storage directories and locate sources of unstructured data that wouldn’t otherwise be immediately obvious. As a result, even firms with little staff can process their current stores of data and find potential inconsistencies.
In some ways, this has also helped people maintain staff locally. Outsourcing has historically been the way that many organisations have dealt with an inability to process data manually. Since these tools are able to do the job for them, limited companies located right outside of the London city proper have been able to manage a greater percentage of their data themselves.
Monetisation has also become easier as a result of this trend.
Data monetisation from a rather historical perspective
Firms that know more about how they’re collecting information are in a better position to use it to make data-driven decisions. If a manager wants to decide which products to restock an inventory with, then it’s best to know what areas were purchasing the products and at what time.
Mobile data analytics is playing a big role in this. By tracing where a consumer’s handset was when they placed an order, it’s possible to learn over a period of time when and were orders will be coming from. This has the potential to radically change the way that warehousing operations work.
Hub and spoke distribution networks, like those used to bring goods to individual consumers’ residences, stand to benefit the most from this kind of research. Unfortunately, it’s been held back to some degree over privacy concerns. Individuals want to be sure that their purchasing habits aren’t necessarily being tracked in a way that could be traced back to them.
As a result, a smaller cottage industry has sprung up that examines information collected from data lineage studies and works to make it as anonymous as possible.
Anonymity in an increasingly public world
Say you purchase something from an online chemist, which is then delivered by a third-party to your residence. The time your order was placed and how long it took to fulfill would be very useful to someone restocking a warehouse, but you would more than likely be uncomfortable with the fact that someone else was looking at it.
As a result, IT departments are working furiously to ensure that once data gets collected anything that would be personally identifiable in regards to it gets blotted out. During London Tech Week in 2019, the issue of online privacy was given a healthy amount of attention by a number of prominent pundits.
Encryption, however, might be the safest route to go for most businesses. Mandatory access controls are an excellent way to ensure that only specific individuals are ever able to access particular pieces of information.
However, being able to implement this kind of plan requires you to have a data lineage study conducted in the first place.
How area businesses get started
It seems that many firms who’ve taken an interest in this kind of technology are starting their journey by eliminating unnecessary data. Once they’ve cleared out logs that could potentially go back for years, they’re in a good position to start using an automated tool to learn more about their current situation.
It’s likely that in a few years, these workflows will be further automated so all business owners will need to do is type a single command and a script will handle everything else for them.