Principle 11: Data is Accessible

Classification:  Data Principle

Statement: Data is accessible for users to perform their functions.

Rationale: Wide access to data leads to efficiency and effectiveness in decision-making, and affords timely response to information requests and service delivery.  Using information must be considered from an enterprise perspective to allow access by a wide variety of users. Staff time is saved and consistency of data is improved.

Implications:

  • This is one of three closely-related principles regarding data: data is an asset; data is shared; and data is easily accessible. The implication is that there is an education task to ensure that all organisations within the enterprise understand the relationship between value of data, sharing of data, and accessibility to data.
  • Accessibility involves the ease with which users obtain information.
  • The way information is accessed and displayed must be sufficiently adaptable to meet a wide range of enterprise users and their corresponding methods of access.
  • Access to data does not constitute understanding of the data. Personnel should take caution not to misinterpret information.
  • Access to data does not necessarily grant the user access rights to modify or disclose the data. This will require an education process and a change in the organisational culture, which currently supports a belief in ‘‘ownership’’ of data by functional units.