Large complex organisations such as government departments have the same data distribution problems and also are wrestling with the use of open data, compliance with jurisdictions data sharing standards, inter-jurisdictional shared data, some of which is secure and needs to be clearly identified as ‘closed’ data, let alone what version we are using or whether this is the original data source.
A government department was working on several analytics projects and moving into an increasing number of investigations: external fraud and carrying out historical analysis on policy.
They hired Business Aspect to look at the data governance and stewardship required to help centralize their data and to build a centralised list of all of their data sources within their organisation in a place where all stakeholders could see what they had and who had it under control. This data register included links to openly accessible data and a clear definition of stewardship governance for those with the authority to manage a data set on behalf of the organisation.
The Department sought assistance from Business Aspect to:
- Consult with business stakeholders on which data sets were considered of value
- Consolidate all the reference lists of dataset in use across the agency
- Establish governance for the management of data sets across the agency
- Define a requirements specification for an enterprise data catalogue to support a go to market activity and business case at a later date
- Design an interim enterprise wide Data Catalogue based off the specification to help stewards learn about their responsibilities and start refining the content in the catalogue.
What We Achieved
An Enterprise Data Catalogue (EDC), or Information Asset Register, is a list of all data and/or information collection sources within an organisation. The purpose of these registers is to:
- Ensure staff only use the approved data source
- Staff know what data is original versus secondary, aggregate or manipulated data
- Staff know what the organisation subscribes to and has permission to access
- Staff across departments are informed of whether data research statistics and reports already exists so not to duplicate effort or spend.
Through stakeholder workshops and liaison with key data stewards the landscape was exposed quickly.
To assist them we developed:
- The Data Dictionary, which defined the terms used in the register based on metadata standards
- Analysed and cleansed data to develop a consolidated data asset listing
- A prototype SharePoint site in their Intranet to start the life of the register at low cost while requirements were still unfolding
- Stakeholder dashboards showing their preferred data sets
- A high-level Governance Strategy for the data and the register
- Several detailed requirement inputs to future business case for further development.
This project only took 8 to 10 weeks and changed the organisation’s data maturity the day the register went live. Now they are on a path of data refinement to support more analytics projects, more agency reporting and further advances in integration.