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Showing posts from October, 2018

Data governance at the core

Among all the topics discussed at the Gartner Data & Analytics summit, one undercurrent caught my attention.  It came up at least twice, in very different talks.

The first occurrence was in a presentation by an e-commerce company which made all of its data open to all employees and encouraged them to create innovative analyses of that data.  The introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) last year has caused the company to restructure its data platform with stricter access policies, as they can't reasonably make the personal information of all their customers available to everyone in the organisation.

The other time was in a talk by a Gartner analyst, about different data architectures (e.g. data warehouses, data lakes, & data hubs).   In an aside, the speaker remarked that, in the past, IT departments have tended to collects all their data together first and worry about governance later.  He said that design of a data hub should instead start with data …

A festival of data

Last month, I attended the Festival of HE Data at the University of Huddersfield.  This one-day event had a number of speakers in the morning and an afternoon session in which various Universities (including Edinburgh) and other services demonstrated some of their projects and services.

"Data" is rather a broad topic and the emphasis of the day was on how to use data to enhance University services, providing dashboards for staff and for students.

Matt Hiely-Rayner explained how the Guardian's university guide determines its "value-added" score,and described how Kingston University used this understanding to improve their score, while simultaneously improving the outcomes for a particular group of students. He noted that students' final results tend to be correlated with the qualifications when they arrive at University.  The value-added measure looks for progress beyond this correlation, i.e. how many students who were less well qualified on entry achieve g…