What I’ve done

Data Owners: first item on their agenda

By |2019-11-25T10:02:17+00:00November 25th, 2019|What I've done|

Once we've identified, allocated and trained our Data Owners then we're done, right? Wrong! This is exactly the time we need to be mentoring that group as their role is not entirely intuitive. Why is that? Well Data Owners should be members of your organisations senior leadership team with functional accountability for a domain.  That's a great start, but their data governance role extends beyond that and across the organisation. Inhabiting the owner role may deliver a dis-benefit to their own functional area. That's a whole other post, but today I'm focussing on their other primary responsibility: empowering their stewards. The question Nicola [...]

What skills do I need for my Data Governance team?

By |2019-11-15T08:24:05+00:00November 15th, 2019|What I've done|

. A question I’m often asked is ‘what skills do we need to be successful in our Data Governance (DG) Team?’ It’s a good question but it may not be the right one.  The more pertinent question is ‘what skills does my organisation need to move to a data culture?’. Let’s try and answer both of those. Firstly, by dispelling two myths. The first is that deep technical data skills are mandatory for the DG team. The second is that some staff get a pass because ‘ The Data Governance team is a composite of many skills. You won’t find them [...]

Does every member of staff really need data skills?

By |2019-11-12T11:45:11+00:00November 12th, 2019|What I've done|

This is the first half of my third article inspired by the HESPA data governance conference back in September 2019. Often the question ‘what skills do I need for this role’ completely misses any consideration of the data skills to be successful in that role. This is both managing data you us, and the skills to interpret data outputs in a consistent and coherent manner. There’s a view that these skills should be project based. I don’t agree. They should instead form part of the ‘skills package’ every employee understands and values.  Without some clear guidance embedded in the job role, that [...]

How can I value my data asset?

By |2019-10-25T09:45:48+01:00October 25th, 2019|What I've done|

  What do we mean by value? Assets have value. So logically we should be able to agree the value of that asset. Respected metrics to do are understood for finance, people and buildings. These metrics provide some of the framework to manage assets both in terms of their cost to an organisation, and the way that value is demonstrated – be that quantitively and quantitatively. The data asset fails to ascribe to any of those criteria! There's no industry standard or accredited approaches to assessing that value, nor a universal benchmark to cost it. This does raise the question of [...]

HESPA Data Governance Conference – short write up

By |2019-10-23T16:33:50+01:00October 23rd, 2019|What I've done|

After the success of this conference, HESPA asked if I could summarise the key points and issues raised.   Posting this reminds me I promised two further articles on ‘Valuing the data asset’ and ‘Skills needed for successful Data Governance’. Coming soon, watch this space! HESPA Data Governance Conference review It's hard to know how colleagues will respond after being shown a picture of a car driving into a lake! For context this was a metaphor for 'consequences of bad data' when considering that data 'as the GPS for your strategy'. The theme for the day was the practical application of [...]

The why, how and what of Data Governance

By |2019-10-09T10:06:16+01:00October 9th, 2019|What I've done|

After my last post on ‘How to make the Data Governance business case’, I’ve had requests to share the full slide deck from the event this post originated from. These cover - briefly - the whole data journey plotted out in the schematic above. You can download them below. This was from my session at the excellent HESPA (Higher Education Strategic Planners Association) Data Governance 1 day conference on September 28th, 2019. The next post will be on ‘how to value the data asset’. If you have questions or comments, please do get in touch.

Data Governance Business Case – what are the benefits?

By |2019-10-04T11:18:05+01:00October 4th, 2019|What I've done|

As my colleague, and fellow data professional Nicola Askham, wrote in her last blog. it can be a ‘real struggle to get your data governance initiative approved in the first place’. She sets out the reasons why, and recommendations on how to overcome them. In this post, I’m going to dive into the detail of how to frame the benefits and risks within that business case.  These have been developed over many years of creating signature ready business cases as part of a wider Data Governance initiative or programme. What are the benefit and risks that make the case? Every organisation [...]

Incoming: three future blogs

By |2019-09-27T11:44:10+01:00September 27th, 2019|What I've done|

I’ve been a little remiss in creating content and templates over the last six months. This is the joy and curse of being busy! However after an excellent data governance conference arranged by HESPA, three recurring themes clearly need exploring. And a blog is a great place to do that. So in the next 4-6 weeks I’ll post an entry to answer: What goes into a Data Governance business case, and how do I choose? What is the cost of bad data / the value of good data, and how can they be calculated? What skills are needed for Data Governance [...]

Everything is an edge case

By |2019-09-27T08:54:10+01:00September 27th, 2019|What I've done|

Originally published on WONKHE: https://wonkhe.com/blogs/in-he-data-everything-is-an-edge-case/ We all know that data has value. What we don’t have is an agreement of what that value is, how to calculate its worth and who is the primary beneficiary. This makes writing any kind of business case for increasing the value of that data asset somewhat problematic. What is tactical data? That case is further compromised by the blurred lines between tactical, strategic and regulatory data. Ask three people which of these is most important and expect at least six different answers! One maxim does hold true though “the higher up the management chain you [...]

How do I assess change in terms of my data asset?

By |2019-08-27T17:22:15+01:00August 27th, 2019|What I've done|

How many times have you been asked 'We have a new system being implemented next month, can you sort out the data?'. Okay this might be a bit extreme, but the proposition holds. Data is rarely considered in the same way as the other asset classes - finance, staff and estates. This needs to change. Data is the fluid over which processes flow. If the impact is ignored or quality is assumed, this fluid can quickly turn into a grit. However, in many organisations, a lack of change governance is incompatible with a rigorous impact analysis approach. Leaving a combination pragmatism [...]