APEC Data Science & Analytics Key Competency #3: Data Management and Governance

According to the APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation) Advisory Group, Data Management and Governance is one of the key competencies of a Data Science & Analytics professional working in the region.

By definition, a DSA professional can develop and implement data management strategies and governance, while incorporating privacy, data security, polices and regulations, and ethical considerations.

The concepts of data management and data governance are kind of the like the chicken… you really can’t have one without the other. Although to the layman, data management includes data governance.

The simplest way to put it, is that data management is the physical aspects of data collecting, capturing, storing, segmenting, etc. Data governance is then the rules or guiding principles that direct how data management works.

There are a lot of data management resources out there. There are not a lot of data governance resources out there. This is why in a majority of companies, we have raw data that needs a lot of cleaning and refining before it can be used in a business.

Organizations that are good in data governance, generally have solid data management. Mature analytics companies have data that is easy to access, is accurate and is used in decision-making.

Data Governance is composed on three parts: People, Process and Technology.

DMAI_DataGovernanceThe people have titles like database admins, data stewards and data warehouse experts. They enforce the laws and rules around data within an organization.

The technology used is generally programming languages, coding and joining data structures to layout the blueprint of how data flows throughout the organization’s hardware.

The process is the rules, generally set down by senior management, and often in line with government or industry regulations that govern how data should be used.

If your organization has a lot of data, has people that are well versed in data management, and uses data to feed decision-making, then you need to make sure you have solid data governance.

If you don’t, DMAIPH can help. Likely you are missing key people, clear processes, and/or the right technology to ensure your data is being governed correctly.


Analytics Training – DMAIPH offers a wide range of analytics centric training solutions for professionals and students via public, in-house, on-site, and academic settings. We tailor each training event to meet the unique needs of the audience.

If you need empowerment and skills enhancement to optimize the use of analytics in your organization, we are here to help. Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly to set up a free consultation to learn which of our DMAIPH analytics training solutions is best for you.


Being A Great Analyst > Key Attribute #3 > Be Decisive

If you are a good analyst or a decision-maker that uses analytics, being decisive is much, much easier.

One key to using data and analysis effectively is understanding how people make decisions and what impacts the ability to make unbiased decisions.

A few years back I came across a book by Dan and Chip Heath called Decisive. It was a fantastic read.

The Heath Brothers are marketing and management experts who do a lot of research into what works and what doesn’t in the business world.

Decisive looks at what influences effective decision-makers overcome.

As an analyst, there are many valuable lessons that can be applied to both selecting data and presenting the analysis of the data.

One example of being Decisive that I use a lot related to trying to avoid a narrow frame. Too often we limit our choices.

When it comes to what data to use to answer business questions, we have to always ask ourselves is this the right data? Is there other data I can use to validate my findings? What data can be blended with this data to tell a more compelling story?

Being aware of your own biases will help you ensure you get the right data, that it’s what is really need to answer business questions at hand.

Being of aware of the biases of the consumer of your analysis (generally your boss and their peers) can help you position your data in ways that can mitigate those biases and let them see what you see.

There are dozens of examples from Decisive that I use in training people to be analysts and in using analytics effectively.

It is a book, well worth your time.

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All I Need To Know About Someone Is What Was The Last Book They Read

I’m not sure where I picked that concept up from, it’s probably a variation of a famous quote whose author escapes me. But for me there is a lot of truth to the statement. When you find out the last book someone read you can tell a lot about them. When you get them talking about it you can gain incredible insight into who they are and what motivates them.

In my case I picked up a book at the airport for my flight and to help me get into trainer mode. The book I picked up was Decisive, a business management and leadership book by the Heath brothers. It was on the top of a lot of 2013 lists and I had heard of it before. Once I started reading it, I quickly saw some key points I could roll into my next analytics training class.


Here are some of the key points:

> Most decision are made in an instant and are often just a choice between two options.
> Although helpful, Pro and Con lists are limited in their effectiveness.
> Most business decisions, when looked at a few years later, were failures.

In the book the Decisive, the authors list four tips to help make better decisions:

1. Widen Your Options by eliminating factors that put artificial limits on our choices.

2. Reality-Test Your Assumptions by taking them out of our head and into the real world.

3. Attain Distance Before Deciding, which means don’t rush and gain other perspective.

4. Prepare to be wrong, the willingness to take risks is a challenge for all of us.

Its a great read, pick it up.

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