Data maturity is a measure of the reliability, effectiveness, and efficiency of an organisation’s data management. By measuring your maturity, you get a score that represents how well your company manages its data and what you can do to improve.
But your data maturity score is indicative of much more than just your data management. Your maturity score also tells you if your business is, or isn’t, healthy.
Companies with a low data maturity score waste valuable resources finding and correcting low quality data, and risk making poorly-informed decisions based on data they don’t trust. Often, this poor data stems from process and people issues that are embedded within a business.
Meanwhile, organisations with a good data maturity score are characterised by discoverable, understandable data. Data is treated as a valuable strategic asset that can fuel massive growth, and is trusted to inform the most important decisions they make. These organisations are aware of their position on the data maturity curve and how they can further improve their score.
In this article, we break down how data maturity affects the health of your business, the factors that affect your data maturity, and how you can improve your data management to become a high-performing, data mature organisation.
Company culture – An organisation’s culture can greatly impact its data. Teams can either willingly share or hoard data, ignore its value, or treat it as a valuable asset.
Leadership – Leaders play a vital role in reaching and maintaining a high data maturity score. How they speak to the team, communicate the importance of data for the organisation, and how they manage investments in data, are all critical factors.
Skills and capabilities – It’s important to have data-literate staff, as they help your organisation understand the value of organised, up-to-date data and can act as data management advocates.
Data uses – Among others, whether data is shared and repurposed, or siloed and duplicated.
Data analysis – The techniques and methods you use to analyse your data will impact the results and insights you can derive from it.
Improving data maturity depends on pursuing objectives and benchmarks which reinforce good data management and allow an organisation to climb the data maturity curve.
Next, invest in the data which boasts the lowest maturity scores but provides the most value to the organisation. Identify the root causes of low maturity and invest in sustainable, long-term solutions.
An organisation with higher levels of maturity is capable of dealing with data quality issues as soon as they arise, rather than when they cause problems. Instead of expending resources patching up data problems late in the data cycle, higher maturity means these errors have been spotted and fixed before they affect the user.
Organisations that have created governance structures, operating models, policy procedures, and set standards and guidelines around their data are able to ensure its quality throughout its lifecycle.
These structures allow companies to align their efforts around their most important data. By combining these resources and encouraging ownership and accountability based on data performance, teams come to believe in and cherish their data.
Technology can lull organisations into a false sense of data governance security, as they come to rely on it to ensure good practice, until something goes wrong. Data governance depends on people, and the technology is simply there to support them.
After all, computers aren’t as good at recognising value, anticipating strategic potential, or taking accountability as people are.
We’re often seeing generic data maturity assessments that don’t help data leaders prioritise their resources or demonstrate business value and impact.
We’ve built our Data Diagnostic to do the opposite, giving data leaders the information they need to invest in immature areas and improve business performance.
We’re regularly assessing the data maturity of our clients to help them achieve just that. If you’re interested, reach out, and learn how we can help you on your path towards better data maturity.
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