How to Be a Hero When Good Data Breaks Bad

Here are some sobering statistics: 95% of the IT asset data typically captured by medium to large organizations is irrelevant. Fifty to 75% is inaccurate.

That’s bad.

Flexera has more than a decade of experience helping customers gain insights into obscure technology. We’ve cleaned up an untold amount of dirty data, and we can say with certainty:

Good data goes bad in predictable ways

It’s inconsistent. Technology data comes from multiple sources: discovery tools, procurement and provisioning systems and more. Each tool represents vendors and products in different ways. “Adobe Creative Suite” and “Adobe CS” might be the same product, but thanks to that name variation, they won’t match between discovery sources. Lack of standardization like this makes data consistency a real mess.

It’s duplicate or conflicting. Because CMDBs combine data from multiple sources, they often contain duplicate and conflicting data. A CMDB needs to resolve those conflicts and filter out duplicates if it’s going to be the authoritative system of record supporting IT decisions and processes. If it can’t, that’s a big problem. When the problem scales to millions of lines of data across different inventory and asset management tools, finding and fixing the duplicates and conflicts is a hugely daunting task.

It’s irrelevant and incomplete. When analyzing data for an audit, you can ignore .dlls files, knowledge base files, patches, .exe files and others that are individual components of a larger bundle. They’re just noise. What you can’t miss is key information such as end-of-life or end-of-support date, licensing/packaging options, current version, vulnerabilities and compatibility with new versions of Windows. These external data points—market data, in other words—are essential for numerous day-to-day processes. But unless the process is automated, they take a lot of time and effort to obtain.

So it’s time for you to admit it: you’ve got bad data.

Here’s how to clean up its act:

  • Standardize language across IT – Flexera’s Technopedia® catalog delivers more than 2.1 million unique software and hardware models with category and version information. It’s a reference that standardizes names, taxonomy and nomenclature across all IT, putting the information you need to make quicker, better decisions at your fingertips.
  • Consolidate data across systems – Flexera has built-in data extractors to aggregate data across more than 40 data sources, including HP, ServiceNow, BMC, Microsoft and IBM. It filters, de-duplicates and normalizes data to establish asset identity. Then it enriches it with non-discoverable market data from Technopedia.
  • Enrich CI data with missing metadata – Flexera augments CI data with non-discoverable metadata and market information, including end-of-life dates, support type, upgrade and downgrade paths, versioning and licensing information, OS compatibility and more. This information is critical to security professionals, enterprise architects, software asset managers, vendor management, governance and risk teams, your CFO, your CIO and anybody else making decisions about technology infrastructure.

Be a hero. Lead the war on bad data. Leverage Flexera solutions to keep it relevant, accurate and a valuable asset for your business.

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