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Deploying Intelligent Information Management applications

Ezine

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Turn data into intelligent information

To manage stored data effectively, you need to understand its content so you know how to handle it and where to put it.

MOST COMPANIES BLINDLY manage their databases, files and e-mails. Applications create the data and it's saved on storage devices. The data is later copied or moved for business-continuity or data protection purposes. While this worked in the past, new business requirements such as record-retention regulations and increasingly frequent e-discovery activities have forced organizations to rethink data management. IT departments are also struggling with growing capacity requirements and trying to cope with the constant flow of new requirements that stress their capital and operating budgets.

Organizations must improve their understanding of data and then use that understanding for more efficient and effective data management. New technology solutions that leverage the context of data--the attributes and index that describe the data--can help organizations turn data into information. Attributes, such as the data's creator or a numeric pattern such as a Social Security number, add a level of intelligence to the data, making it more usable and manageable.

Intelligent Information Management (IIM) comprises the processes and technology products that enable organizations to understand and organize data, and then take appropriate

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actions with it. While information lifecycle management (ILM) is a popular catchphrase, it hasn't found much traction because we were missing the underlying intelligence.

The two major processes within IIM are information preparation and information management. Information preparation transforms data into information. This process identifies the data an organization creates (or has created), develops information categories, analyzes the data for specific criteria and automatically classifies it into pre-defined categories. Once the data is properly categorized, it can be acted upon intelligently and automatically. Information management is the process of doing something with the data, such as archiving, encrypting or deleting duplicate copies.

This was first published in April 2006

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