Data is the water needed for operations and decision making

Data management and data governance in organisations

Martti Rahkila, Development Manager, IT Services

The world is getting more and more digital. We use digital tools and services every day in our work, studies and free time. Data is the water that is needed to run these digital services. Like water, data is a valuable resource. We have to take good care of it and make sure that the quality of data is sufficient for digital services to run smoothly and that we can utilize it in analytics and decision making.

In an organisation like a university, this is called data management –taking care of data quality and how we create, process and then eventually destroy data. However, the world changes all the time and we need to update our processes and guidelines for data management accordingly. This is called data governance: a discipline of how data is managed in the organization. In Aalto University, the data governance is built into our information security management systems (ISMS).

Master Data

One particular kind of data is of special interest to us. That is called master data. That is our common data; basic information that is needed to run operations of an organisation. We need to take really good care of master data and ensure that the quality is high. Without master data It would be impossible to build processes, digital services or ecosystems for our essential operations.

Data Governance

With data management and governance comes responsibility. Every member of an organization is responsible for ensuring the data quality and that the data is utilized in a sustainable way. There are ethical questions involved: how can we use information, for what purposes, is it ok to combine different data. We are all responsible for these ethical decisions as well. Therefore, in Aalto University, the responsibility of data has been included in our Code of Conduct.

Aalto KPI Dashboard

From the university point of view data is extremely important asset for analytics needed for decision making. In order to make good decisions we need good data. To support data-driven decision making and transparency, Aalto University has an open report view where management and any employee can use the same data to monitor how the university is doing.

Data Literacy

At the same time the university supports employees’ competences in data-driven insights with data literacy training and communication materials. Data literacy is one of our most important future skills. You can dive into the ocean of data literacy with these materials

Explore Aalto Links and Resources on Data Governance