On the 2nd of February our Managing Director Caroline Levey took part in a webinar run by the Smart Ports Alliance which also saw the launch of their much-anticipated Data Academy. In this interactive 40 min webinar we explored Data Management from a beginner’s standpoint and below you will find the top 4 take-aways from the webinar, extracted into tasty bite-size chunks.
“Excellent, I wish my senior management had seen it, really really useful”
feedback from the webinar
Your data is not actually yours
How many of us have folders and files on our desktop where we squirrel away various files and folders without thinking about who else might need it? We are probably all guilty of doing little things like this which might go against ‘good data management’ practices but its time to change. The data that we create, manage, view etc is not our data…it belongs to the organization and as such, it should be easily accessible and understandable by others. Think of yourself as a data custodian rather than and data owner.
Metadata is vital
Metadata or ‘data about data’ is an essential element for anyone creating, updating or exchanging data. It provides important additional information about a data, to enable it to be better accessed, understood and used. As data volumes and complexities grow, the bigger the need for good metadata. Do you know what metadata is automatically collected by your systems? Can you access it easily? Can others? What other metadata might be required? Exploring and improving metadata in your organization can be a great first step to improving data management.
Top tip: Free online courses on marine data management, data governance and the MEDIN toolset, which include sections on metadata, are available. Find more details here
Data Management is not an IT Function its a Change Management project
For an organization to achieve “good data management” you will need buy in from everyone and this will involve change. Changes in the way that an organization manages data and shares it. In general people don’t like change but without it, you are unlikely to be successful so a data management project is often part of a bigger change management project. If your organisation particulary struggles in the implementation of change, don’t be afraid to seek help and advice. Change Management courses provide important insight about both the role of the individual and the organisation in identifying, preparing for and executing change successfully.
There is no one-stop shop for good data management and no overnight magic fix, please excuse the cliché, but to achieve good data management you will need to embark on a journey. Each organisation will need to implement different steps along the way and will have different challenges. It is not a race, but the sooner you embark the better as ‘data anarchy’ gets worse the more data you have, and data volumes are growing exponentially. The best way to approach data management is to make small incremental steps towards your goal. Don’t be scared of asking your peers and colleagues about their data practices. Our free guide “Ten steps to achieving data management success” is a great place to start and explains the 10 key steps that you can take and where to start. Download it from www.oceanwise.eu/compliance-overview/marine-data-management
If you would like to discuss Data Management, would like us to speak at your event or have any questions about the webinar or your own Data Management Journey please get in touch. We run a variety of courses for marine professionals on and around the subject of data management and are very happy to point you in the direction of more support and resources.
- EMEC: Data Management Case Study
- Data Management, Governance and MEDIN toolset
- 10 Steps to Achieving Data Management Success
- Data as Infrastructure
- Dama (The Global Data Management Community)
- MEDIN (Marine Environmental Data and Information Network)
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