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Module 8: Data-driven Culture

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What is it?

Creating an organisational culture that values data as an asset is a core component of any data governance effort. However, changing entrenched organisational behaviours is widely regarded as the biggest obstacle that can derail data governance efforts before they even begin. Creating a data-driven culture means shifting the mindset of employees so that they are motivated to manage and use data effectively on a day-to-day basis. It involves raising awareness, knowledge and acceptance of an agency’s data objectives, embracing innovation and change, and encouraging an open and transparent data culture. 

Why is it important? 

When data is not regarded as a strategic asset by staff across the organisation, data quality degrades, information silos proliferate, and inefficiency and poor decisions often follow. In many respects, a data-driven culture will follow naturally if there is strong commitment from senior leadership, staff have a basic level of data literacy, and specialised data capabilities are spread evenly across the organisation. However, creating this culture also requires an ongoing effort by senior leadership to ensure data is fully appreciated by staff across all areas and all levels of the organisation.

What good looks like

  • Enterprise-wide: data governance is regarded as an enterprise-wide objective that applies to all staff, rather than just a compliance task or something for IT to do.

  • Celebrated: staff that demonstrate good data management practices are celebrated by senior leadership.

  • Collaborative: all parts of the organisation are engaged on enterprise-wide data governance initiatives and input from stakeholders is incorporated from day one.

  • Business-enabler: staff have a strong understanding of how data governance can help them do their jobs more effectively and deliver real value for customers.

  • Ethical: robust data management practices are considered by staff as an ethical imperative, rather than a compliance requirement.

How to achieve good practice

  • Develop a simple and targeted communications plan that aligns data governance initiatives with the agency’s overall mission and objectives.

  • Develop and deliver learning opportunities and resources that grow the data literacy of the entire organisation and give staff practical guidance on how they should manage data on a day-to-day basis.

  • Measure the effectiveness of data initiatives and share the results with staff as well as other agencies to promote a government-wide culture of learning about data governance. For example, hold a showcase or create a data story to share the results of the data program or project and communicate how it contributes to the agency’s mission and goals.

  • Ensure each business unit has an assigned data leader to champion and engage with staff on data governance decisions and initiatives.

  • Develop performance metrics and incentivise and reward staff that demonstrate and promote data-driven values and behaviours.

  • Set up a Community of Practice (CoP) for staff across the organisation who can lead and advocate for the agency’s data agenda. The CoP should have executive sponsorship and comprise relevant subject matter experts (SMEs) across the organisation, including security, information and record management, and privacy.

Download Module 8 


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Module 7: Leadership
Next page
Module 9: Workforce Skills and Capability


Last updated 01 Feb 2021