Taming BIG Data: Taking Back Control, Part 2 – Creation

The technical workgroup members are responsible for:

    1. Consolidating the existing service level agreements (SLA), interface; control documents (ICD), and any other legal data usage agreements (DUA);
    2. Drafting a standard technical section of agreements based on ideal receipt/creation of data; and
    3. Compiling a list of known issues from the service desk.

The technical workgroup members are responsible for gathering relevant agreements for both internal and external data partners. If the company does not already have a centralized library or tool that houses these types of documents, this is a good place to start. The goal is to develop standard agreement templates that can be used proactively as new sources come online and to provide input to technical requirements of data sources.

Too often, technologists meet with the business or sources without a standard preference of interaction resulting in a mix of different file types and formats over time. Once the standard is developed, time is saved through educating the internal staff about the standards and by modifying the necessary processes to have technology involved early in the decision making process of new data.

This standard agreement template should include preferred file format, receipt location, naming convention, and primary and secondary contact information for both the company and the partner(s). All existing points of contacts should be compiled, confirmed with a secondary point of contact and the manager of these resources contact information. Finally, quality assurance techniques for both internal and external data sources should be assessed.

Internal data partners should also have agreements that are maintained in a central library or repository. In addition, the technical resources are responsible for gathering information on the supporting data entry systems. Quality assessments can be performed by speaking to users of the systems or by analyzing the employee support center database. Getting familiar with these systems (owners and procedures) is helpful in understanding who will need to be involved in approving projects and the complexity of changes recommended to these systems.

The EIM program management workgroup members are responsible for:

  1. Identifying the best team for this phase of the program;
  2. Developing the facilitated session agendas and outcomes; and
  3. Finalizing the specific deliverables (i.e., data owner model, business data dictionary, training and communication strategy, standardized agreements and supporting policies and procedures).

The project management workgroup members’ responsibilities begin by identifying the right set of resources to maximize the results of this phase. The correct mix of resources will leverage a few team members from the first integrated workgroup and new members who work in the area of data creation. These people are responsible for providing direction to the team in capturing the correct information for facilitated sessions, preparing the facilitated sessions agendas well in advance, and identifying the specific deliverables the team will produce during and after the facilitated sessions.

Deliverables from this phase includes but is not limited to:

  • Data owner model (EIM governance – data stewardship)
  • Business data dictionary (EIM metadata management, EIM governance – central repository)
  • Points of contacts (EIM metadata management)
  • Training and communication (EIM program management – training)
  • Performance metrics/review – modification recommendations (EIM program management)
  • Quality procedures – entry(EIM – data quality)
  • Standardized agreements (EIM governance – central repository)
  • Supporting policies and procedures (EIM governance – central repository)
  • Recommendations on future projects (EIM program management)

The integrated workgroup, together, reviews these documents and recommendations and signs-off on the package of deliverables. The project management workgroup members are responsible for coordinating the development of the deliverables and clearly communicating the team’s approved recommendations to the governance council.

Once the team’s recommendations are provided to the governance council, the information is disseminated throughout the company. The company will be in a position to continually improve the creation and receipt of data. The company can now focus on retention — understanding the value of this data over time — which will be covered in the next discussion.

Stephen Boschulte MBA, PMP, CISSP, is a senior information management strategist. He has over 14 years’ experience working with more than 20 Fortune 500 companies and small organizations. Mr. Boschulte is the author of A Practical Guide for Implementing an EIM Program and can be reached at [email protected].