Data governance and enablement

Dan Sutherland wrote in September (link) about data in organisations. He encouraged conversations about data enablement rather than data governance.

Dan proposed that “data enablement requires innovative thinking, vision, people, processes and technologies”.

Earlier in the year (February 2019), Randy Bean and Thomas Davenport discussed enterprises that were attempting to become data-driven in their strategic and operational activities. They noted that these enterprises “have attempted to treat data as an important asset, evolve their cultures in a more data-oriented direction, and adjust their strategies to emphasize data and analytics” (link). Many organisations are struggling to become more data-driven.

Randy and Thomas summarise a report on big data and artificial intelligence, in which:

  • 72% of survey participants report that they have yet to forge a data culture
  • 69% report that they have not created a data-driven organization
  • 53% state that they are not yet treating data as a business asset
  • 52% admit that they are not competing on data and analytics.

These data appeared in the survey despite a growing investment in data and artificial intelligence. Randy and Thomas note the difficulty of cultural change “has been dramatically underestimated” in these organisations. They added “senior leaders who advocate for data and analytics within their organizations are incredibly valuable, but more the exception than the rule”.

I see the advocacy of leaders as vital for the flourishing of data-rich cultures. Julien Clement makes this point forcefully in his discussion of leadership (link) and support for personal learning.

What interests me at present is the time organisations make to talk about these issues. They do need to be discussed in order for strategies and practices to evolve. How we use data will define us and needs to extend beyond a rhetorical commitment. It is essential for us to explore governance and engagement.

Randy and Thomas note “the need for data-driven organizations and cultures isn’t going away”. As we seek to better understand and facilitate technical direction in sport, this cultural change becomes a fundamental issue for all of us.

Photo Credits

Photo by Rachael Crowe on Unsplash

Photo by Nauman Abdul Hafeez on Unsplash


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