The interview I had with Farhad Tajali last week, see “The Relevance of Data”, inspired me to start a longer discussion on the need and use of valid data. Operational data is one of the most important aspects of a mature security program. In the coming weeks, I want to explore what that means in more depth and discuss why data is so important. To begin, I want to share two main reasons security leaders must develop robust and effective data programs.
Resource Management: Data allows us to manage resource allocation more effectively. With reliable data, we know where to budget capital in the implementation of security plans and know how to direct our daily staffing plans. Data analysis should support effective decision making. Whether we are trending criminal activity within our local geography or analyzing thefts within our facility, data analysis can help us identify and track trends. I talk about this more is a Security Management article “Inoculating Against Violence” I wrote in 2015. Data helps us identify waste, improve efficiency, and justify resource allocations. Data gives us tools for better resource management at every decision-making level.
Data punctuates our story: Data allows is to tell our story in a more meaningful way. Gone are the days in which anecdotal information is justification enough to persuade organizational leadership to make changes. Data allows us to take the story of what we do on a daily basis and illustrate it in a way that brings weight to that story and validity to our purpose. Data tells of our successes and our opportunities for improvement in a way we are unable to on our own. It also allows us to tell the story of, not only where we have been, but also where we are going. Through the utilization of trend analysis tools and statistical modeling we can peer into the future of our operations. This allow us to make meaningful predictions about where our story is headed which gives us more control over the future of our operations.
Data is a valuable tool we cannot afford to ignore. When collected reliably, analyzed effectively, and utilized in daily decision making it is a true enabler of effective security operations. In the coming weeks I want to explore more topics related to the building and management of an effective data program. We will discuss data governance from the collection and input of multiple data points to the final product produced through the analysis of all that collected information. I look forward to our discussion ahead.
How do you use data in your security program? Do you adapt your operations based on operational intelligence? How do you correlate and analyze your data to produce actionable information? Join the conversation in the comments below, and don’t forget to like, follow and share to support the Proactive Security Blog.