Running a data maturity assessment project

December 20, 2021 by No Comments | Category Data, Digital Scotland

Blog by Sally Kerr, Project Manager, Data Standards team.

My name is Sally Kerr and I am a Project Manager in the Digital Directorate’s, Data Standards team. An important part of my role in the team is the development of Data Transformation Framework. Data transformation is the journey towards improvement and increased capability in using data. The Data Transformation Framework is being developed to support organisations in understanding not only where they are currently, in terms of data maturity and use, but how they can improve this, realising more of the value potential through data use.

At the moment we are focusing on how to help organisations understand their data needs by running a data maturity assessment project. This is a follow up from an initial project where we carried out research to understand whether a data maturity assessment model could be a good approach for the Public Sector to help improve data use and reuse. Now we want to understand the support and guidance organisations will need to carry out an end to end data maturity journey, one which they can then repeat and scale in their organisation. They will work individually and as a cohort during the project, sharing their experiences and learnings of the data assessment process as well as helping to map initial maturity pathways and the resources for the Framework.

There are eight organisations taking part in this project, which will run for 6 months until April 2022. Each organisation will carry out an assessment and follow on from this engagement by reviewing their findings and building action plans. Making the plans practical and achievable will be important for the organisations and the assessment will provide a focus for areas that they might want to target as well as gaining an understanding of their current data maturity.

We are just at the start of the project, moving through the pre-assessment stage, but we are already gaining insights from the conversations and feedback we are having together. The cohort members are very enthusiastic and really keen to work on the project. Early expectations reflect this enthusiasm whilst the challenges tend to be common ones around data and projects in general.

The ambitions range from the ability to having a better understanding of the range of data sets in an organisation, to using them with emerging technologies. For some there is a specific service targeted to achieve savings and impact and for others it is a project such as creating a data hub. Convincing colleagues of the value and importance of data is a common thread.

The challenges tend to be more operational at this stage – the ability to bring colleagues on board at a time when services are stretched, and the challenge of the overall project timescales given the pressures on data teams.

The cohort will have an ongoing role in the Data Transformation Framework development, seeking advice and guidance as they implement their plans and it is exciting to see this process gaining momentum with the project.

This project is aiming to capture a lot of information as it progresses, and I will be writing further blog posts to share the cohort’s experiences of the assessment process and development of their plans.

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