Data 101: Enhancing Public Sector Data Management with Data Maturity Assessment

By Syazwani Tajudin (Wani), Data Strategist at Derilinx

In the third blog post of the Data 101 series, we discuss how implementing good data management practices helps organisations achieve their goals effectively. We also explore what is a data maturity assessment and how it can help the public sector identify and address data issues. 

Why do good data management practices matter? 

Good data management practices are crucial for any organisation, especially in the public sector, as they enable better policy decisions and deliver better services to the community.  

For example, keeping files and folders organised with clear and structured naming conventions helps staff to easily find the required data when needed. Knowing when to archive data ensures organisation’s information is kept relevant and efficient over time. 

Data maturity plays a key role as it allows organisations to evaluate their current data practices. Essentially, it aids in enhancing an organisation’s data management practices over time. By embracing these practices, organisations can effectively tackle complex challenges, establish improved data usage guidelines, and make more informed decisions. 

What is Data Maturity Assessment? 

A Data Maturity Assessment (DMA) is a structured evaluation designed to measure an organisation’s data management capabilities and maturity level. The DMA identifies strengths, pinpoints weaknesses, and provides recommendations for improving the overall organisation’s data management practices.   

According to the OGCIO’s  Data Maturity Assessment  Advice Note/ Guidance, the result provides a foundation for public bodies in their development of strategies, plans, and actions to reach a desired state for data. This is done by assessing one’s current data maturity level. 

The DMA is based on internationally recognised data standards defined within the Data Management Body of Knowledge (DMBoK). DMBoK defines five different data maturity levels, detailed below: 

What can we learn from doing a Data Maturity Assessment? 

From our experience collaborating with the Irish public sector clients, the DMA results reveal several common issues. In addition, we have included some ideas on ways to improve data management practices. Organisations can use this information to guide their future data strategy planning. 

Common challenges 

  • Lack of adequate and proper documentation about data locations and ownership, leading to an over-reliance on informal knowledge about where data resides. 
  • Lack of awareness of data access standards and processes. 
  • Lack of a centralised data storage system. 
  • Inconsistent data security measures and access restrictions. 
  • Staff lacking adequate training in data governance.

Recommendations 

  • Conduct a Data Inventory Assessment to compile the various data sources, identify data ownership, and understand the core data. 
  • Establish clear guidelines for data access standards and processes when accessing various data systems. 
  • Implement a centralised data catalogue. 
  • Review existing data access rights across all systems regularly. 
  • Develop data training customisable to different role types within the organisation and raise staff awareness of the importance of good data governance. 

By addressing these issues, organisations can take a more proactive approach to enhance their data management and governance. Moreover, the recommendations will provide solutions to improving the organisation’s current data maturity and unlock new possibilities for more advanced data exploration. 

For more information, visit our Data Maturity Assessment page or contact us.

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Data Management Services – Improve Your Data Management

Evaluate your data management and usage practices to identify the level of maturity, develop policies setting out your data practices and assess your legislative environment from a data perspective to (re)establish your data needs.

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