CDO Recommendations for Data Visibility Initiatives

Last month, FI Consulting’s article titled “6 Things Chief Data Officers Can Do Better,” detailed how the Chief Data Officer (CDO) could provide enterprises with data visibility and a bird’s eye view of data systems, platforms, assets, and metadata. We received several comments asking us to expand on the improvements of data visibility initiatives, and we intend to elaborate on them with this addendum. Data visibility initiatives are vital to strengthening the role of the CDO within the enterprise. To build on this initiative, FI recommends improving performance through data maturity assessments, risk management and transparency programs, and process improvement. All efforts tie into making a robust data visibility initiative that increases data literacy and increases an enterprise’s data enrichment efforts.

First, the maturity assessment measures your organization’s data practice, management, and strategic initiatives. By understanding your data maturity, your enterprise will better plan for future growth. There are three areas that FI has identified where a data maturity model can help the organization. The assessment can evaluate the organizations’:

The organization should communicate the outcomes of your data maturity to your entire organization. Assign corresponding tasks to Information System Managers, Product and Project Managers, chief information officers, risk officers, and other executives. The data maturity assessment results will confirm and support the organization’s strategic plan by quantifying data usage and usability. In addition, the responses are a critical step to understanding the speed of progression of your data visibility initiatives.

Second, program transparency and risk migration efforts are essential components of the enterprise, and the Office of the CDO should help inform the program. The government must implement its enterprise risk management program to be held accountable for its goals and taxpayer funding (in the private sector, for its funders and shareholders). This rule of thumb should be ubiquitous in our programs. To the extent possible, we should make our program objectives clear, share them with our stakeholders, and celebrate when we accomplish them. If we’re late or if events overcome them, we should identify the risk to the enterprise, update our project plans, and course correct. At FI, we help identify risks, communicate them early and often, and correct our actions to improve the purpose of our sponsors. By establishing a risk management and transparency program, your enterprise can hold itself accountable for implementing its product plans. The enterprise risk management program should include strategic, operational, technological, and personnel performance objectives. Looking at each part of the organization can help bring better outcomes. By establishing the transparency and risk models, institutions can then annualize them and repeat them to harden data visibility through enterprise accountability.

The third and final recommendation that would benefit the CDO is process improvement of functions in the enterprise. Specifically, process improvements of the functions that are repetitive, frequent tasks and uses software tools available throughout the enterprise. Tasks with these requirements are ideal targets to create an automated workflow and is a good use case for the standardization of enterprise operational components.

Venturing into automation requires detailing a specific process and fitting a process into a machine. The more specific you are with the actions to complete the job, the less likely you will have errors in your product tool. Automation products include Robotic Process Automation, Workflow Automation, and Intelligent Automation, built from programming codes (like Python, JavaScript, or other programming tools). In some cases, these products reduce an individual’s work hours. However, creating and establishing this workflow requires supervision and maintenance, and an enterprise should redirect employee hours to other tasks as the transition occurs.

Automation tools are designed by an automation programmer and supervised by the Product or Program Manager. Automation is a component of process management, and in this case, the visibility and understanding of the data collected and transformed is a part of the success story.

If you have any questions about these approaches, do not hesitate to contact FI for your data, management, visibility and process improvement needs.