2. People

It is essential to have people with clear roles and responsibilities, resources and skills to do the job, for example training on data protection and privacy to ensure personal data is handled appropriately in accordance with regulations and to avoid harmful impacts on the people the data is about.

Key roles and responsibilities for data within a project or organisation include:

  • Board – accountable for the strategic direction of the project/organisation, including how data supports this.

  • Director – ultimately accountable for the data in their part of the business, including resourcing, risk management, who has access and who it is shared with.

  • Chief Data Officer (CDO) or data lead – depending on the size of the organisation, one director may be the CDO. This role oversees the range of data-related functions that may include data management, ensuring data quality and creating a data strategy.

  • Data governance manager – coordinates the approach to embed data governance frameworks across projects or the organisation.

  • Data steward – the technical expert who manages data on a day-to-day basis.

For additional guidance on the roles and responsibilities of other external actors in the health data ecosystem, see the roles and responsibilities section of the playbook.

Helpful questions to ask:

  • Do you have an expert internally on data governance? If not, do you have someone who is the go-to person for data?

  • Do you have the resources (budget/time) to manage data as a valuable asset?

  • Do you have buy-in across your project or organisation to look after data as an asset?

Useful resources to ensure people have the required skills and knowledge include:

  • The ODI’s Data Skills Framework illustrates how technical data skills must be balanced with other skills, such as service design, data innovation and change leadership, to help ensure data projects are impactful and lead to the best social and economic outcomes for everyone.

  • The ODI’s Data Ethics Canvas is a tool for anyone who collects, shares or uses data to identify and manage ethical issues – at the start of a project that uses data, and throughout.

  • A podcast, ‘Why poor data governance could be a director’s undoing’, explores the impact of poor data stewardship on companies’ reputations.

Mapping out flows of data and value exchange between actors you engage with can help to identify and prioritise people and communities to engage. The ODI’s data ecosystem mapping methodology provides a logical approach to doing this, and a way to visualise interactions and to communicate this to stakeholders.

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