People, Process, Technology – a Data Management Love Triangle

by Kate Tickner on 27th June 2017

Yes you read that correctly.

Although of course it’s intended to get your attention and what I really mean is that for good data management – the type that will deliver business value from your data – what you need to do is think about 3 things: People, Process and Technology.

People, Process, Technology – once you have the edges of your triangle established, the “filling” becomes much easier and if you are struggling to populate all the pieces that are missing then I invite you to read Entity Group’s book: “Crossing the Data Delta”. This tells you all about our methodology, encased in a triangle, and can be a real help if you are struggling with where to start on your data management roadmap.

Here’s a look at what could be involved:

People, Process Technology

It is important that you balance out how much time you spend on one of the 3 areas versus the others. What can start as a request to review technology options should become a recommendation to first consider an overall data strategy because that makes sense. However, once the idea of technology assessment has taken hold it is difficult to balance out the people and process side of things to ensure that the business needs are being understood, and an ROI case for software is being built. Almost inevitably a premature attempt to bring in tools and technology will lead to push back and there is a danger that the need for better data governance and data quality – which could be addressed via a more detailed look at people and process – will be neglected as a result.

In some instances,  technology is not considered enough – particularly from the point of view of budgeting. One organisation that I met were bought into the concept of having good master data for 3 priority domains – customer, supplier and product – but had not considered that the purchase of the technology required to do this in an automated fashion would make a reasonably big dent in their finances. When added to the cost of support and implementation it made a strong ROI case all the more vital.

What we have also seen is the perception that you can just buy a “whizzy tool” and be able to carry on doing exactly the same things with your data as you have always done – and the tool would “fix things”. Of course, as Data Integration and Data Quality tools as well as Master Data Management solutions have become more sophisticated, they have taken away some of the heavy lifting but in the end organisations need to accept that they will have to change the way they do things if they want to gain the maximum value from a technology purchase.

You will also have to consider if you have the right people in place – perhaps the skill sets needed to successfully manage master data are not in your organisation today. It is also possible that the people in the organisation are not happy about having to treat data differently and take responsibility for it on an ongoing basis. All of these items need to be thought about – and a host of others – it can be very difficult to get it right without experienced guidance.

So if your organisation is embarking on any data-related initiative and you need help to get it right – then think about working with Entity Group. This could be in any industry or area of your business – we are data people! Perhaps you are worried about complying with GDPR or about how to move to a more cloud-based architecture? We have nearly 30 years of experience in Information Management and Data Governance embodied in our skilled staff who will be more than happy to talk about a data love triangle with you in a 2 hour “scribble session” or brainstorm – no strings attached!