How Healthy Is Your Data?

2022-03-30 |  Roshni Daswani

Organisations have never been this dependent on data to support their decision-making process.

We all have heard a version of this statement before, but has it been understood? 

Organisations must focus on data management and governance as a priority. The complexity of external elements such as macro-economic factors, environmental pressure, social responsibility, depreciation of assets, existing and future competitors, highly regulated markets, external conflicts, etc. place an enormous pressure on leaders across the globe to make decisions based on real events, facts, reality often in real-time.

Being an old fish who has seen-it-all is no longer enough to drive companies through the necessary changes needed to guarantee survival.

Before we can talk about change, innovation, investment or even future strategy, when it comes to data, organisations need to answer some fundamental questions with a high degree of confidence:

  1. How accessible is your data?

  2. How reliable is your data?

  3. Does it provide all the information needed at the required level of granularity?

  4. How is it collected, persisted, segregated and maintained?

  5. Is there a solid process in place to ensure data integrity across the entire platform?

Organisations that are unable to answer any of these questions are more likely not to be making informed decisions, which may lead to catastrophic outcomes. This notion is not new; we have seen it happen before, where unreliable data has been used to make crucial decisions for enterprises that have inevitably suffered the consequences.

When it comes to data governance, some of the most common problems we have observed in our work with organisations across many sectors are: data living in silos, data corruption, lack of referential integrity, duplication, inconsistency, accessibility to data, complexity of rules, poor and very manual reporting capabilities, lack of technical and specialised skills, old software, legacy systems, data migration challenges, lack of ownership, technical limitations, storage restrictions, lack of governance around users or access to data, and the list goes on.

There is plenty of literature available about Data Maturity and off-the-shelf tools that can perform an almost instant assessment however, they only provide an as-is view of the data policies and protocols currently in place, missing the holistic view of how mature or efficient the data model is. Performing an assessment to understand where the current data model is within its journey, recognizing and acknowledging what the issues are, identifying the associated risks and subsequent impact on the overall business, is without a doubt the first step.

Data has been described as “the new oil” and in short, this is the Data M.O.T. assessing if the motor is working at its maximum potential and identifying beforehand if there are risks for an engine failure before you put the oil in and try to run the engine!

There are reportedly hundreds of different Data Maturity models. Some of these might tackle data in general but some focus more on some aspects rather than others, for example placing more emphasis on IS or analytics rather than governance. In addition, we can’t and we shouldn’t, apply one generic Data Maturity Framework assessment to all industries as it is very much sector specific. Most of the discourse around this subject proves that this can be a long and challenging journey but organisations that have successfully implemented a robust data management process evidence that the effort is very much worth it: benefits delivered often include cost reduction, profit increase, interdepartmental synergies, client satisfaction, reputational prestige… just to name a few.

How Can We Help?

For many years, PEN Partnership has helped clients to become successful in being data-driven organisations utilising our proven Data Governance and Technology frameworks. Our team of experts have guided clients through their data journey helping them assess, evaluate, re-design and implement a robust data management framework.

If you would like to hear more about what PEN does in this space, if you would like to assess where within the data journey your organisation currently is or if you simply want to talk to us to know more, then let’s talk!

Contact Roshni Daswani


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