Principle 9: Data is an Asset

Classification:  Data Principle

Statement: Data is an asset that has value to the enterprise and is managed accordingly.

Rationale: Data is a valuable corporate resource; it has real, measurable value. In simple terms, the purpose of data is to aid decision-making.  Accurate, timely data is critical to accurate, timely decisions. Most corporate assets are carefully managed, and data is no exception. Data is the foundation of our decision-making, so we must also carefully manage data to ensure that we know where it is, can rely upon its accuracy, and can obtain it when and where we need it, in doing so data assets can provide additional value to academic and research endeavours.

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.
  • We must make the cultural transition from ‘‘data ownership’’ thinking to ‘‘data stewardship’’ thinking.
  • Since data is an asset of value to the entire enterprise, data stewards accountable for properly managing the data must be assigned at the enterprise level.
  • Stewards must have the authority and means to manage the data for which they are accountable.
  • The role of data steward is critical because obsolete, incorrect, or inconsistent data could be passed to personnel and adversely affect decisions across the enterprise.
  • Part of the role of data steward is to ensure data quality. Procedures must be developed and used to prevent and correct errors in the information and to improve those processes that produce flawed information. Data quality will need to be measured and steps taken to improve data quality — it is probable that policy and procedures will need to be developed for this as well.