American Airlines is going “back to the basics” on big data, Becky McCarty, the airline’s manager, data management for tech ops, told MRO Americas delegates.

American’s tech ops team is reshaping its data governance policies to account for the dynamic nature of managing real-time data and providing it to different departments, she says. While the airline has general policies in place, they focus on data warehousing, as opposed to distribution. The new protocols will apply to data “at a subject level, not just an application level,” McCarty explained.

The airline has also created a data-validation team to help vet and quantify requests to share information within the company. The team, which includes representatives from each tech ops department, is the new “first stop” for internal customers who want access to a particular dataset.

The move has several benefits, she said. These include boosting collaboration among departments both within and outside of tech ops, and — more importantly — freeing up the IT staff to focus on more advanced and complex projects.

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