Data’s a fascinating and beautiful thing. Each bit and byte on its own is rather meaningless, but when you look at in its entirety, something magical happens. Design emerges. A story is created. Knowledge is captured. But this can only happen if the data you start with is the “good” data. But how do you get to “good” data? How do you make order out of data chaos?
The 5 Steps for Creating Order Out of Data Chaos
There are lots of approaches and a ton of things you could focus on to help get you to the point where you can gain insights from your data and connect it to business objectives. But I like to keep things simple. So, let’s focus on the top 5 things you’ll need to be able to do to create order out of chaos.
- Find what data you have. Sounds like a no-duh type statement. But it’s going to be critical for you to be able to quickly and accurately discover what data you have, where it is and how much of it you have. It’s also going to be important to know how many data sources you have. Do you have one data source or multiple? Knowing the answers to these questions will make a difference in being able to explore and manage the data effectively over time, and it will also go a long way in resolving ambiguity and inconsistencies in the data.
- Know how your data is defined. You’re going to want to make sure that your data assets are defined in your specific business language, and make sure that you’ve linked catalog assets to glossary terms and data dictionary entries to ensure consistency and proper use.
- Trust the data. It goes without saying that if you don’t trust the data that you’re using, it’s not exactly going to inspire confidence. Being able to signify that a particular data asset is trusted and know for what purpose the asset should be used goes a long way towards increasing your confidence level. Also, if you can see which internal subject matter experts – such as data stewards or data owners – are associated with that asset, you now have a clear point of contact to verify information or answer questions.
- Connect data to corporate goals and objectives. Now that you’ve successfully discovered what data you have, you know where it is and have it appropriately cataloged, you can start linking the data assets to corporate goals and objectives. Why do this? When you link fields, rules, standards, processes and metrics to goals and objectives you gain visibility into the relationship between data and those goals. And you can see the incremental impact data has – good or bad.
- Measure the impact data has on corporate goals and objectives. Last, but certainly not least, you’re going to want to start measuring progress against the goals you’ve set. Because you’ve gone through all of the work to align data and activities with goals and objectives that are important, you’re now able to measure the impact and value that data has on the organization. You can clearly see progress against those goals/objectives or identify possible risk.
You’ve got the top 5 steps for creating order out of data chaos, but there’s one more thing to consider- you’re going to want to do this quickly and easily, without introducing additional layers of complexity. About now you’re thinking, “Ha! Aren’t you funny? How are we going to put this plan into action? Where are we going to get a platform that can make that happen? You’re talking about a unicorn, it doesn’t exist.” Or does it…
Finding the Unicorn
You might remember an earlier blog post where we teased you with a certain product unicorn called Information Value Management®. If you haven’t taken the time to check out what the unicorn has to offer, you should. Because guess what you can do? All the items listed above and so much more!
Our latest release delivers enhanced discovery and data asset catalog capabilities that help organizations - just like yours - not only discover and understand the data available to them, but also connect that data to the most important business goals and objectives - so you can clearly measure the impact data has on corporate initiatives.
Catch a sighting of a unicorn. Request a demo today!