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Data mapping and strategy

Updated: Sep 6, 2020

Many of you belong to organizations that have had varying levels of success with implementing governance solutions. If you tried with SharePoint, you have had various levels of success or lack thereof as well. Often, the governance problems that arose with older versions happened because user adoption was so fast, that ungoverned sites proliferated too easily. 


Microsoft Advanced Data Governance is a fairly recent set of capabilities from Microsoft O365 that truly makes governance practical and reasonable. Deployments can still benefit from the viral nature of cloud adoption, but you still need to spend the time building a strategy, planning taxonomy and labeling structures, and best practice work processes. This viral nature for adoption can create a panic in the planning process. 

“Now that we have over 2,000 sites and 4,000 users in our roll-out, let’s begin planning how we are going to design this thing”

The real requirement here is for accelerators in the strategy planning and design process so that you get on the train while it is still in the station. One of the strongest accelerators is examining your existing content to help quantify and qualify your design decisions. By existing content, I mean stuff on shared drives, in emails, in older versions of SharePoint, Documentum, Google cloud, Box, or even existing database structures. Examining it requires using software to build an index of your unstructured content to begin to map and analyze. You have spent decades creating this valuable content and you should use it to your benefit.


Data Driven Strategy


Microsoft has ventured into this “Compliance Check” space with some introductory analysis tools that can look for keywords and regular expressions. It is an excellent first step, and they are showing that they see opportunity to analyze content before building a O365 strategy. Please ask if you’d like more information on this Compliance Workshop offering from Microsoft, or if you want, you can go broader and deeper with an additional set of complimentary tools.


Building a proper index provides the benefit of mocking up all your content into O365 to see how information structures work. It takes a small fraction of the time it would take to try to migrate content directly. Indexing tools can plow through roughly a terabyte of content per day with a simple installation. You can then try out your queries, analytics, classifiers, regexes, and labels on your real content. You then start extracting all the intelligence to build your strategy.