Perform a Data Audit

Don’t just execute an audit to identify what issues exist, probe deeper to unravel why they exist.

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Without a formal approach to auditing data:

  • Time is wasted reconciling data quality issues; data is out of date, different across multiple systems, absent, or has any number of quality issues.
  • The business is unable to back its decisions with concrete data, which is impacting its bottom line.
  • Misuse of data is a major concern that if not corrected, can lead to negative compliance and security implications.
  • The majority of organizations not doing regular data audits don’t know where their data is or how it is used and therefore suffer from poor data integrity.

With an optimized strategy for data audits:

  • Efficiency savings can be realized through eliminating duplication of efforts and reallocating efforts towards data assets deemed valuable.
  • Data audits help manage risk. Underlying risk management is knowledge. A thorough data audit provides knowledge about where your assets are, who uses them, and how they are used, stored, and accessed.
  • Organizations that perform audits will have a better understanding of what data issues exist and how to create higher data quality levels.
  • Results of a data audit usually recommend data cleansing processes to promote the health of organizational data on an ongoing, long-term basis.

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Onsite Workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn’t enough, we offer low-cost onsite delivery of our Project Workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a road map in place to complete your project successfully.

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Module 1: Make the Case and Structure the Project

The Purpose

  • Understand why it is important to treat data as an asset and how data fits into the corporate strategy.
  • Realize the value of a data audit and how it can help you efficiently manage your data to gain a competitive advantage.
  • Explore the affects new trends in trust, availability, compliance, and security will pose on your organization.
  • Identify drivers, goals, and objectives for conducting a data audit.
  • Create the project team.
  • Complete data audit charter.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • An understanding of the benefits of a data audit and whether it is right for your organization.
  • Completed data audit project charter to be used to gain buy stakeholder buy-in.

Activities: Outputs:
1.1 Understand the corporate strategy.
  • A go/ no-go decision for conducting the data audit.
1.2 Determine the organization's data pain points.
  • List of organizational data pain points.
1.3 Identify availability, trust, compliance, and security issues.
1.4 Identify the drivers, goals, and objectives for the data audit.
1.5 Scope the project.
1.6 Assemble the project team.
  • Data audit project team.
1.7 Complete the data audit charter.
  • Completed data audit project charter

Module 2: Prepare and Conduct the Data Audit

The Purpose

  • Prepare for the audit, identify and create an inventory of all data sources and resources that end users require to do their jobs, determine who is responsible for data sources, and summarize audit findings.
  • Conduct the audit by completing user profiling and technical profiling.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Understand how the audit process works, how data is created, and archived.
  • A combination of technical profiling and user profiling will help the client identify where issues are and why they exist.

Activities: Outputs:
2.1 Create a context diagram.
2.2 Document data sources in the Data Source Inventory Tool.
  • A comprehensive list of all data sources within the data audit project scope.
2.3 Identify users for interviews.
  • Completed Data Audit Interview Schedule.
2.4 Review results of the technical assessment. Discuss and draw hypothesis.
  • A completed technical assessment identifying problem data trust issues.
2.5 Conduct a mock interview.
2.6 Complete the Data Audit Scorecard Tool.
  • A completed Data Source Inventory Template to act as a point of reference for all data sources within the project scope.
2.7 Update the data context diagram.
2.8 Summarize key issues.

Module 3: Review and Analyze Data Audit Findings

The Purpose

  • Analyze data audit results and identify the root cause of data inefficiencies.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Understand why data issues and inefficiencies exist and what the cause is.

Activities: Outputs:
3.1 Perform a root cause analysis using fishbone diagrams.
  • A completed root cause analysis with a thorough understanding of the issues contributing to trust, availability, compliance, and security issues.
3.2 Discuss the root causes for trust, availability, compliance, and security issues.
  • A shortlist of solutions for improvement.
3.3 Brainstorm solutions for improvement.

Module 4: Create a Corrective Plan

The Purpose

  • Develop a two-fold plan, that will outline short-term and long-term corrective actions.
  • Identify the types of policies your organization requires and how to communicate policy changes to end users.
  • Understand various techniques that can be used to maintain data quality and integrity: types of automated technologies available, data quality and integrity maintenance checks, and data governance..

Key Benefits Achieved

  • An understanding of each data source and whether it is under-performing, over-performing, or on target when compared to data requirements.
  • Immediate opportunities for improvement.
  • Identify recommended future blueprints and data initiatives.

Activities: Outputs:
4.1 Identify underperforming data sources.
  • An understanding of which data sources are underperforming and on target and where priorities should lie for clean-up efforts.
4.2 Identify immediate opportunities for improvement.
  • Identification of activities that need to be adopted from planning, control, development, and operations.
4.3 Highlight activitiy groups that need focus for long-term corrective planning.
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