Data Hijacking – Threat or Opportunity?

Data Hijacking is one of the major root causes for data quality problems. The reason for excessive use of Data Hijacking is very obvious: Almost every user can utilize existing data fields and values to create new information concepts. A bureaucratic and expensive adjustment of the information system can thereby be avoided.

At first sight, Data Hijacking seems to make sense, since it saves money in short term. However, in the long run it causes severe damage which can only be repaired with tremendous effort:

  1. The semantics of data cannot be intuitively derived, if the data was hijacked. This causes additional effort for data documentation and user training. Moreover, it increases dependency to certain employees and the risk of data misinterpretation.
  2. Automated validation and integration of data is more difficult due to overloaded data semantics.
  3. Dependencies to other information concepts are difficult to realize without the misuse of other data objects.
  4. Business processes are getting more diverse at the expense of standardization.

Mostly, Data Hijacking is completely unnecessary since required information concepts are already part of the information system. But due to information overload nobody has a clear overview about the available data fields and values to represent certain information concepts. An efficient metadata management system is a real alternative to avoid Data Hijacking. Our modern metadata management systems are convenient to use and help to dramatically reduce the search costs. Moreover, you gain a better overview about the available information concepts, so you can get the most out of your information systems. Contact us now to find out more.