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Data handling is a key but often overlooked part of governance
By Todd Kelsey  |  Aug 23, 2023
Data handling is a key but often overlooked part of governance
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This first in a three-part series on topics of data governance discusses handling - which gains in importance as the reams of data generated, gathered, and analyzed rise. Prof Todd Kelsey of Benedictine University researches applied AI and its emerging business/governance models.

CHICAGO - Governance is a term which generally refers to how matters are regulated internally. At corporations, this is also known as corporate governance. It is also one side of a coin, with the other being public policy. Companies control their practices internally with private policies, while public policy generally refers to legislation and regulation.

At the leading edge of the wave of artificial intelligence (AI), increasingly massive amounts of data are gathered from websites, sensors, systems, and devices of every variety imaginable. Anything from a smart watch to an electric vehicle collects and generates data. The data are then processed by AI - such as by training its systems to recognize images when an AI is created, or by engaging in some type of pattern analysis and prediction. This is apparent everywhere, such as when a customer makes certain decisions on a website and an AI system responds by predicting what that person is interested in and making suggestions to him/her.

Data handling is positioned more at the trailing edge of the wave of Big Data and AI and refers to the way that data are handled within the increasingly gargantuan systems and databases that firms manage. The reason why such handling is at the trailing edge is because the management and handling of data has often been an afterthought. Systems have long produced data of one kind or another, and the rise of analytics - such as marketing analytics - has given companies tools to analyze data, visualize them, and potentially derive insights from them. Over time, a patchwork of software, systems, and databases has emerged - sometimes entirely disconnected from each other and rarely with any kind of governing principles. In most cases, companies pretty much did whatever they wanted, and things were highly unregulated until just a few years ago.

Data handling has come into much higher focus as the true value of data has come to light. The largest

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