Practical advice for building a data management program

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Practical advice for building a data management program

What: The National Association of State Chief Information Officers’ report, “Better Decisions, Better Government: Effective Data Management Through a Coordinated Approach,” the second in its data management series.

Why: Because effective governance requires government IT managers and business stakeholders to work together to create a successful data management program, NASCIO outlines the process, people and technology that should be used.

Findings: Besides aligning interests of stakeholders and documenting policies and processes for data governance, states also need the necessary technology to implement an enterprisewide data management program. The report specifies five types of tools:

  • Data quality tools to assess data content, consistency and value, improve the quality of data from the source and give data stewards the insight needed to resolve quality issues.
  • Entity resolution tools to help match data from different sources, agencies and jurisdictions, which strengthens enterprise data sharing and analysis. They are also used to create master records for key entities like people, businesses or facilities.
  • Data search tools for data mining so business users can find and access high-quality data and information to easily answer business questions.
  • Reporting and analysis tools to generate reports, dashboards, charts and graphs. More advanced analytic tools can also assess trends and patterns in data, provide predictive insight and identify key links.
  • Data modeling tools for managing unstructured data and describing the semantics, business rules, data relationships and data attributes at various levels of abstraction and detail.

Key Takeaways: It’s important for states to build a business case, identify measurable benefits to show the return on investment for data management and define a clear vision and scope for expectations, key milestones and outcomes. Furthermore, they should ensure they have the tools and processes in place to build core data management functions and data stewardship networks. Finally, data management and a data architecture reviews should be part of every project so commitment to good data principles will become part of the organization’s culture.

Find the full report here.

About the Author

Amanda Ziadeh is a former reporter/producer for GCN.

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