What I’ve done

What I’ve done2019-01-10T16:47:41+00:00

What I’ve done

Are Data Maturity assessments worth the effort?

The answer should be a firm yes, but first let me explain why it is often a definite no. Assessment scores are amongst the dirtiest data you can collect, with most methodologies being entirely qualitative Completing the assessment may give you a grade or a level, but other than printing it out and sticking it on the wall, what do you do with it? The HEDIIP programme originally envisaged publishing a data maturity assessment across the HE sector. My view was without a framework for that assessment to operate in, the cost of collection was not commensurate to the value we [...]

By |February 12th, 2019|What I've done|

Why visualising Data Quality issues can overcome institutional inertia.

A recurring problem with resolving cross domain data quality issues is the asymmetry of benefits. Essentially the data producer (responsible for entering or uploading data at the point of collection) has little visibility of how the quality of that data will affect the data consumer (the person or persons who use it). The utility of data is often scuppered at this collection point, as the producer - understandably - will apply only the business and quality rules relating to their own use cases. This is not simple to fix. I used to believe merely showing people the implications of these actions [...]

By |January 28th, 2019|What I've done|

Data Futures Mapping Tool v2.1

In my last blog post, I introduced a mapping tool linking the HESA Data Futures schema (2.01) to the UCISA HE capability model. This generated an enormous amount of feedback and interest. This interest made me appreciate - again - how powerful the capability model is if tuned to a real world scenario, and that I'd created a bit of a monster in terms of the tool itself. Having said I wasn't going to enhance it, the number of  requested changes, and a bit of spare time over the break has brought forth version 2.1.  The new functionality includes: A query function [...]

By |January 7th, 2019|What I've done|

Warm Fusion: Mapping the HESA Data Futures Schema…

Some combinations just work; Bacon and Eggs,  Fred and Ginger,  Tom and Jerry,  Sheringham and Shearer and - of course - Angus and Malcolm Young of AC/DC. Okay the last one might not be for everyone, but segues into the idea of this article. For universities developing solutions for in-year reporting to the Office for Students, there is a raft of material available. Most of which is provided by HESA as part of the 'Data Futures' Programme*. The most important of which is the Data Dictionary (or schema)which defines all the entities and attributes mandated for each reference point.  I've seen [...]

By |December 12th, 2018|What I've done|

What is a business glossary and why do I need one?

What is it? A business glossary is a cornerstone of any successful data governance framework. It underpins much of the effort to assess, track and improve the data asset. A properly formed glossary is the foundation for driving up the utility of data. It does this by generating trust in that data because we know what it means, and the quality at which it is held. It is therefore an institution wide, agreed business view of the most important data and where it is used. As such, it's a key tool for data stewards and owners to move data out of [...]

By |November 23rd, 2018|What I've done|

Data Governance Interview by Nicola Askham

Alex has worked with over fifty UK universities, most of the sector agencies including University and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) and the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) and a host of practitioners in the Higher Education (HE) sector. Alex designed and developed the HEDIIP data capability framework, led the team to create the HESA in-year collection model and designed both a sector level and a HESA instance of a best practice data governance approach; and is currently working with universities to develop and implement their Data Governance frameworks, How long have you been working in [...]

By |September 23rd, 2018|What I've done|

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