The Importance of Data Management in The Public Sector

Data management security is becoming a serious concern as cyber criminals’ incredibly advanced tactics continue to disrupt organisations around the globe. For example, did you know that costs of data breaches rose from 3.86 million dollars to 4.24 million in 2021? This is the highest it’s ever been in over 17 years!

On the other hand, hackers continue to gather data relatively quickly and on a daily bas.

While the systems on which the data was initially acquired may now be obsolete, there is a significant probability that the vast majority, if not all, of this data is still stored.

Not only is this data saved to help guide government decision-making, but its analysis can also help save money, giving the taxpayer a better deal.

However, storing all of this data poses a substantial number of risks. Read on as we examine the risks of expanding public sector data use.

Benefits of Data Management

The professional discipline of developing and maintaining a framework for the following is essential for an organisation:

  • Ingesting data
  • Storing data
  • Mining data
  • Archiving data

All these movements are known as data management. Data management is the backbone that unites all parts of the information lifecycle.

Data and process management work together to ensure that the decisions made by teams are based on the cleanest, most current data available. In today’s world, it includes monitoring changes and trends in real-time.

To provide a better customer experience, data management techniques assist entities in identifying and resolving internal pain points.

For starters, data management allows entities to quantify the amount of data in use. A plethora of interactions take place in the background of every organisation, including:

  • Network infrastructure
  • Software applications
  • Application programming interfaces
  • Security protocols

Each poses a potential stumbling block (or time bomb) to operations if something goes wrong. Data management allows a data manager to take a broad view of corporate processes, which aids perspective and planning.

Data can be mined for informational gold: it becomes business intelligence once managed.

Types of Data Management

The first step in going forward with data management is to assess the current data situation. Next, entities must do a clinical data management assessment of the database’s current state to set realistic goals for the present and future.

Data Stewardship

As opposed to drafting information management guidelines, a data steward implements them. A data steward oversees the organisation’s data collection and movement policies, ensuring you follow best practices and rules.

Data Security

One of the most vital aspects of data management today encompasses:

  • Encryption management
  • Preventing unauthorised access
  • Guarding against accidental movement
  • Protecting against deletion

All the above are still the responsibility of security specialists.

Data Warehousing

The foundation of modern business is information. However, there is an obvious problem with the vast amount of data collected today.

What do we do with all of these bricks? Data warehouse management provides and keeps an eye on the infrastructure needed to gather raw data and analyse it in detail to give business insights.

Data Quality Management

Imagine a data steward as a digital sheriff and a data quality manager as his court clerk. Quality control is in charge of looking through collected data for underlying issues such as:

  • Duplicate entries
  • Inconsistent versions
  • Data quality managers support the defined data management system.

There are more types of data management, including the following:

  • Data managed by a master data manager
  • Data governance
  • Big data management

In the context of this article, though, the four data types mentioned above are particularly relevant. Storing data, securing data, ensuring the quality of the data, and ensuring ownership is paramount in the public sector.

The Consequences of Poor Data Management

Without data management, your company runs the risk of breaking the law. Some laws and regulations specify how entities should comply with data protection and how firms manage data, depending on your business.

Following these guidelines is critical for avoiding cyberattacks and fines. You may be breaking laws and regulations if your company is not updated on the latest data management standards. Improve your data management to avoid an official probe into your business activities.

If there are no data management structures, your intellectual property is at risk. Companies spend millions of pounds generating intellectual property to gain a competitive advantage, so keeping it safe is essential.

Creating new items, approaches, or processes should be undertaken with caution. Protecting intellectual property requires effective data management.

The Need for Data Management in the Public Sector

More and more, governments see data as a strategic resource. It is important to protect data by managing:

  • Access
  • Quality of data
  • Sharing of data

However, extracting value from data requires the correct:

  • Cultural environment
  • Policy environment
  • Legal environment
  • Regulatory environment
  • Institutional environment
  • Organisational environment
  • Technical environment

Public and private sector organisations face challenges such as outdated data infrastructures and silos, skill gaps, regulatory barriers, a lack of leadership and accountability, and an organisational culture not conducive to digital innovation and change.

How Data Management Can Be Implemented

Data governance has become a “must-have” rather than a “nice to have” as data expansion continues. Data is generated in various ways and is no longer always consumed, standardised, or documented consistently.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution. You must implement data governance to meet specific data management needs for the enterprise. In addition, stakeholders must recognise and accept that Data Governance is ongoing.

What About Data from Old Systems?

“Isn’t that what our information technology department already does?” you might wonder. No, unfortunately. Data is rarely the focus of IT.

IT is concerned with technology such as:

  • Technological processes
  • Application developers and their tools

IT has generally ignored the data generated by or stored in the applications until now. Even though many data management functions are part of IT, IT tends to overlook the data itself (since IT claims to have no control over data).

When applications are mothballed and shut down, the data collected is forgotten about all too often. If your company decides to destroy the old data that is one thing. However, suppose the decision is taken to not destroy the data – a subject of its own. In that case, the public sector must acknowledge the presence of the data and implement control measures.

Be Secure and Build Public Trust

To make the most of public sector data, government entities should set up data management structures to ensure that data is used to benefit the public and build their trust.


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