Kathy Gibson reports from Sandton – Data is becoming more important in the business world, to the extent that it is critical to helping organisations be successful.
“We see there is a need for organisations to be data driven,” says Alan Cowley, CEO of Strategic Solution Architects (SSA), kicking off the company’s doData meet-ups at IBM.
Data governance is under the spotlight at today’s doData meet-up.
Governance is central to the ability to use data effectively, but one of the biggest challenges for organisations is the fact that data can often not be trusted.
Whether this is through a lack of understanding, poor integration, problems with quality, ownership and responsibility issues, a disconnect in monitoring and reporting, or a lack of agility, the result is untrusted data.
Data that cannot be trusted can have severe impacts on a company’s attempts at digital transformation. It means analytical outcomes are compromised, with has a knock-on effect on regulatory compliance and ultimately a system’s return on investment (ROI).
The SSA value proposition revolves round data governance and modernisation, aimed at guaranteeing business ROI from a data investment through accelerated outcomes that can be trusted to future-proof the business.
To achieve unified data governance, SSA has put together a roadmap that organisations can follow.
The journey starts with an organisation blueprint that feeds into a roadmap build. Once a maturity assessment is conducted against the build roadmap, executive sponsorship needs to be gained.
Organisations would then define a business problem need and build a data dictionary to help them understand the data.
Once the data is thoroughly understood, a metadata repository can be built and metrics defined. Stewardship andn quality management is vital at this stage to ensure the success of the project.
Master data management needs to be applied to data, and strict analytics, privacy and information lifecycle governance applied.
The final step is to measure the results of the data governance project.
Future topics that will be discussed at doData sessions will include all aspects of data and data management, and their application within users’ IT environments.
The doData sessions are designed to assist those companies that know the data journey is vital to their future but still have questions, explains Wayne Borcher, chief operating officer at SSA.
“Our monthly dOdata meet-ups will be introducing those tasked with meeting the data challenge to those who have started along the path, or who have completed it. dOdata sessions have been created to provide a platform where open discussion on the pitfalls and peaks of ‘doing’ data is encouraged.”
Future dOdata meet-up will provide an overview of the key elements of data management, and an introduction to the pillars of the process.
SSA specialists will facilitate open discussion in the working groups, bringing in experts from around the globe to share their knowledge as the meet-ups progress.
“As we dOdata in-depth, the meet-ups will cover data governance, security, quality, modernisation, digital transformation and migration,” Borcher says, adding that the tone of the sessions will be engaging and valuable, where attendees give and receive valuable “insider” information that can make unlocking value from their data “far easier than it looks on paper”.
The doData meet-ups are relevant for any stakeholder from vendors and customers, that are interested in creating value from data.
“This means CIOs, CEOs, data scientists, developers and even CFOs, who will either be footing large bills in the future or banking the profits gleaned by the best use of existing data,” BOrcher says. “Digital officers will also find the meet-ups valuable, assisting them to make proper use of the underlying data to support digital endeavours in their business. Marketing personnel attending dOdata meet-ups will be able to make better use of data for more successful, targeted campaigns.”
He stresses that data is pivotal to any business and can drive value in every sector.
Borcher explains that SSA understands the importance of the entire data journey and its impact on future-proofing businesses globally. “What will set companies apart in the very near future is not size, but how they use their data to make smarter decisions, service clients more efficiently and take advantage of new revenue streams unleashed when they dOdata correctly.”