9 Guiding Principles for your Association Data Strategy

Associations sometimes struggle with defining the organization-wide data strategy.  Understanding the collective vision takes us out of our department silos and allows us to see how data flows through the various software tools and business processes across the association.  Ultimately, we want to learn how data can be used to inform decision-making.    If you are at the beginning of your data governance process, it is a perfect time to take a look at some sample guiding principles to consider adding to your data strategy.

Guiding principles help define the culture and characteristics of your efforts by describing your beliefs and philosophy.  Take the time to craft your guiding principles as a data governance team.

Guiding principles act as the heart of your data management – helping to shape initiative plans and day-to-day behaviors related to data management and treatment of the organization’s data assets.

They are shared, long-lasting beliefs that will guide your treatment of, investment in, and decisions related to data and data management. Devise a set of guiding principles that speak to your organization’s data strategy and your current or desired culture.

Here are some examples of data management guiding principles:

Principle #1
The organization’s data supports fact-based decision-making.

Principle #2
Data is comprehensively integrated.

Principle #3
Data is appropriately accessible and available to support timely consumption and insight generation.

Principle #4
Quality of data will be measured, maintained, and managed.

Principle #5
Data definitions are consistent and are maintained and managed to support data users.

Principle #6
Data owners and data stewards are accountable and responsible for their domains.

Principle #7
Data is managed (curated, retained, archived, disposed) across its lifecycle.

Principle #8
Data is appropriately secured across its lifecycle.

Principle #9
Data is governed.

As a group, brainstorm your own list of principles and values related to key business objectives of data and the goals of the data strategy and the data management practice. Or you can use the ideas above to expand on them to better describe why you formed a data governance team and what you hope to accomplish together.

Ask yourselves these key questions:

  • What is the business looking to get from its data?
  • How is the data strategy going to deliver the business needs?

Once you have your guiding principles defined, they will help you develop the data governance team’s mission and vision.  Consider how can these principles help to guide the planning? And how will these principles help to correct and guide staff behavior?

For help developing your data strategy, call Cimatri today.  Let’s get started!

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