Data Health Checks for a Growing Business

We worked with a local business to help understand how better data management could accelerate its growth plans.

Working with a fast-growing local firm of solicitors we took the opportunity presented by a digital transformation programme they were undertaking to help them embed better data-centric thinking into all their processes. Like many organisations their size, they processed a lot of data and they knew it – but they quite rightly saw themselves as an organisation that helps people who might be either going through a difficult time, or who wanted to manage the risks involved in taking their next steps.

They were rather better at data than they thought, but it was hard for them to think of the next steps in improving their data maturity (and the potential benefits it would provide) because they were too close to what they were doing to see the big picture: this is what we helped them achieve, and fairly quickly as well.

  • A data services catalogue – this is a list of the capabilities they had for their data processing and is used as a touchstone for further understanding of the directions they might take in future.
  • A review of their GDPR actions – all UK companies have had to comply with data protection legislation and we used the new understanding they had gained from this as a springboard to help them understand just how valuable their data could be.
  • Data quality advice – in order to be able to rely on it for making decisions, all business data needs to reach a level of quality in terms of completeness, accuracy, and legibility.
  • Work on the data model in their primary case management system – a look at the main systems that hold and process data to understand how they shape the data management processes the business has, and find ways to make that work better.
  • Reporting and analysis training in Power BI – a one day course with our data science lead to improve their in-house analysis capabilities.
  • A draft data strategy – a board-level overview of where the company was with its data management and a summary of how to best take its next steps to grasp the opportunity.
  • A report on useful contextual and open data they could use for better operations – more detail on the external datasets available that they could join with their in-house data to realise better market and operational intelligence.
  • A summary review of their information security against the ISO27001 framework – an outline of how they might develop their processes to build better data security.

All of this work taken together amounted to a short “health check” of their data management practises, that enabled a better focus on its investments in data areas that were likely to generate the best returns.

The length of time that a full data audit might take will vary from company to company, but for this organisation we allocated 10 days for the whole process – so although we covered a lot of ground, we also got the chance to drill into detailed areas where the client would especially benefit.