How to Deal with Data, PERIOD!
A recently published article addresses How to deal with data in a multi-cloud environment. In reality, the cloud is just another place to put data; no different than the current situation in most enterprises.
Data has to be dealt with at the source! Data ownership, syndication and communication are the keys.
What does this mean you ask?
Data must be owned by the department or individual that generates it. (We are assuming that they are generating and storing data correctly, but that is another topic)
While it is a lot of work and a moderate amount of expense, like mapping your ancestry in ancestry.com, data needs to be mapped back to its origin to assure that it is timely, consistent and an accurate view of whatever it is that you are looking for. Human resource data should be owned by Human Resources. Accounting data should be owned by accounting. Shipping data should be owned by shipping. etc.
In my experience, reporting functions frequently go outside the lines of data ownership for a number of reasons, Lack of centralized data marts, lakes, bases, etc. Complex approval processes and/or data access. Necessary security policies that restrict data access.
For data to be used effectively to support business objectives, the enterprise (or SMB or individual business owner) needs to:
Obtain executive sponsorship of a data management program and communicate this to the entire organization
Think holistically about what their reporting requirements are now and into the foreseeable future,Identify what data is needed to support these reporting requirements and who "owns" the data
Superimpose security access on top
Define what data storage construct is needed to support this effort, i.e., on-premise, cloud, hybrid, federated or centralized, etc.
Create processes and policies that support timely access to data that can produce the reports business needs to stay competitive
Embed data ownership and usage into performance reviews, where needed