Case Study: Enterprise Data Catalogue (EDC)

October 2019Enterprise Data Catalogue

Data is the lifeblood of our digital world and increasingly recognised as required to be operating in a mature way to be effective at the centre of new business value and agility. Whether you want to facilitate better analytics, gather some basic IoT data or you are truly addressing the re-architecting of your organisation as an ecosystem to support AI, machine learning, digital twin modelling, partner brokering, smart cities or hyper-integration then it is time to address your data fundamentals. Data governance and data process management maturity are at the heart of your new future.

Data can no longer be information stored and lost on a local PC or in the dusty, dead fly covered server cupboard up the back. Data has value, and shadow data, mislaid data, lost data or duplicated data all  cause serious quality and efficiency problems within an organisation, result in increased risks and costs.

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.

An Enterprise Data Catalogue (EDC), or Information Asset Register, is a list of all data and/or information collection sources within a company. 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.
 

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About Business Aspect
Business Aspect is a highly respected management and technology consultancy with clients across Australia and internationally. Business Aspect delivers independent and objective advice and project delivery services on business and technology strategy, architecture, risk, planning, design and governance. Key areas of expertise include cloud adoption, geospatial, big data and analytics. Established in 2005, Business Aspect is a Data#3 company, operating as an autonomous consulting business, providing independent and objective advice.

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