Data Maturity programme update
Blog by Sally Kerr, Project Manager in Digital Directorate’s Technical Data Policy team.
This post provides an update on our Data Maturity programme and its development.
Providing a Data Transformation Framework (DTF) that will meet all the data improvement needs that an organisation might want to address is a challenging proposition. To help with the early stages of developing the DTF, we wanted an approach that would provide focus, identifying shared needs and creating support that was useful straight away. To do this we decided to develop a data maturity programme where organisations had the opportunity to go through an assessment progress and build an action plan/roadmap that would enable changes in data practices and use.
Whilst the first cohort was a pilot (in 2021) where we learnt how to approach a data maturity assessment process and helped organisations to understand their assessment findings, the second (in 2022) expanded and redesigned our approach, with a drive much more to the delivery of a data improvement plan for each organisation.
To support this second cohort, the project team had to respond quickly to common challenges and needs the cohort raised as it moved through the project phases. By doing this we could help our participants understand more clearly where they should focus in developing their plans.
Part of our support response was through running a programme of invited speakers who shared their expertise with both our current and previous cohorts. These included: Nicola Askham who ran a series on Data Governance as she had done for cohort 1, National Highways and Police Scotland speaking on Data Strategy, Perth and Kinross Council speaking on Data Literacy and North Lanarkshire Council about their progress with Data Governance. Hearing from their peers is proving to be a successful way of learning, sharing knowledge and resources to address common problems, as well as helping the development of the Data Transformation Framework.
Carrying out an assessment will only take you so far, and our participants have found it very useful to engage early and often about data within their organisations, carrying out research both to understand their business’s strategic priorities and, more operationally, to identify areas of local improvement and then validate these against the data maturity assessment.
We have noted common challenges from the cohorts which align with the four foundations we promote as the starting points for organisations who want to improve their data maturity:
• Leadership – identifying a senior leader who is responsible for data and will support data governance and management and realise the potential of their data.
• Data Strategy – developing and implementing a clear vision and strategy with defined objectives.
• Data Governance – putting in place the framework and strategy to manage the data lifecycle effectively and improve data use and reuse.
• Data Discovery – identifying and recording priority data sets with consistent standards.
We are suggesting these foundations for public sector organisations that want to move forwards with their data maturity. Together they provide a strong base for improvements.
Data Maturity self-service product
We have used the knowledge gained from the two previous data maturity cohorts that have taken place so far, to build a modular, self-service approach to the programme. We plan to have a minimum viable product (MVP) available by late summer and will trial this with our next cohort. Once testing and iteration is complete, the product will be available, potentially through the Scottish Digital Academy.
Our third data maturity cohort in Autumn 2023 will incorporate previous cohort learnings, the MVP, and a focus on the four foundations. We will have up to 10 organisations taking part. Organisations who participate will:
• take part in all project activities (including workshops, speaker and 1:1 sessions)
• develop and share learning within the cohort.
• have access to related activities and opportunities to help build the development of data maturity in their organisation.
By the end of the course, they will have learned:
Their organisation’s objectives around data
Their organisation’s current data status
The actions required to improve their data maturity.
The most effective activities to develop and implement their plan.
If you are interested in taking part, please find out more at the Scottish Digital Academy: Data Maturity Programme – Scottish Digital Academy