Many manufacturers struggle with accessing their customer and operational data and spend a great deal of time and effort developing or improving processes aimed at getting better manufacturing data to the right people at the right time.
Gaining faster access to your data is not as valuable, however, if the quality of the data is low and time has to be spent to correct bad data or track down missing data. Client data is just the most obvious example of this problem. If a mailing address is mistakenly entered as a shipping address, the on-time delivery of an order could be impacted.
Client data is also just one of the many “buckets” of data a manufacturing operation has to maintain in order to run in an efficient manner. No matter how complicated your operation, it is possible to gain a better level of control of your organization’s data quality through data ownership.
Building data ownership into your organization is a worthwhile exercise for operations of any size. Start by creating an inventory of all the data points that are important to each aspect of your business, from business development and operations to accounting and customer service.
With the data inventory in hand, meet with each area manager or team to determine which positions are the most appropriate for maintaining the different types of data. Do not stop there, however, true ownership of the data takes more than adding a list of data points to a job description or process.
Creating pride in data ownership requires that managers and employees understand their role as data stewards. In larger organizations a data steward is often a formal role performed by a person or team. In most cases, it should be a role taken on by anyone who enters or updates data for the organization.
As with any job responsibility, the more clearly the data steward role is defined for each position, the better employees can be trained and held accountable for fulfilling that role. Clear guidance on what data points are to be maintained, timeframe for entry or updating of the data points, and accuracy level that needs to be met, are just some of the aspects that should be spelled out for each employee.
While there may still be a need for a “global” data steward who tracks and reports on data quality in the organization, delegating ownership of key data can ultimately help the entire company become more aware of how critical good data is to the success of the company.
Need help creating a data inventory and developing roles and responsibilities for data stewardship in your organization? Triple Helix has a proven track record of helping manufacturers and other companies organize and improve access and use of their critical data. Contact us for a no-obligation consultation to see how we could help you.