Like many large businesses, this particular business comprises a group of related businesses – each running semi-autonomously – but with potential synergies across and between group companies.
The challenge? To identify how a centralised set of client master data can add value.
The bigger challenge? Where to start?
With multiple group companies, each with multiple business problems and multiple stakeholders how do we reduce the problem to something tangible and achievable?
This is the goal of critical data elements.
“Data elements are data attributes used in running a business.” *
For example, Employee Number is a data attribute that is used for payroll and leave calculations.
“Critical data elements (CDEs) are defined as “the data that is critical to success” in a specific business area” *
For example, Employee Number is critical to HR processes but largely irrelevant for Customer facing activities.
Critical data elements are critical to ongoing operations and are subject to oversight
Critical data elements are used to prioritize the scope of data governance, data quality, master data management and similar data management initiatives by linking effort to data elements that will help to achieve a specific business outcome.
For example, in many large organisations customer data may be made of of hundreds of attributes.
If our business goal is to reduce increase contactability then Critical Data Elements may include elements such as Email Address and Mobile Telephone Number,
This means that we can focus our data governance and data quality efforts on just these two elements until our business goal has been achieved and we extend our Critical Data Elements based on the next priority.
* Competing with High Quality Data: Concepts, Tools, and Techniques for Building a Successful Approach to Data Quality by Rajesh Jugulum