IData Insights

Aaron Walker

Aaron Walker
Aaron joined IData in 2014 after over 20 years in higher education, including more than 15 years providing analytics and decision support services. Aaron’s role at IData includes establishing data governance, training data stewards, and improving business intelligence solutions.

Recent Posts

Five Whys as an Approach to Data Governance

We were recently reintroduced to the "5 Whys" concept, which we first learned of many years ago as part of Lean Six Sigma training. When it's appropriate, it can be an elegant and useful tool to...
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On the Trials and Tribulations of Major Data Projects

Clients often come to us for data governance assistance after they have migrated to a major new software solution, or after they have deployed significant upgrades to their BI stack (a new warehouse,...

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Data Products and Data Governance Engagement

We described the concept and the value of a data catalog in this space recently, and made an arbitrary distinction between cataloging data assets--the actual data elements themselves and the systems...

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Preliminary Thinking about Data Products

It seems like every day we're hearing about data products, or data as a product. The terms have certainly crept into our vocabulary and we have the distinct impression we're using them more often....

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Being Pragmatic about Pragmatic Data Governance

Let us be among the first to wish you a happy new year. Here's hoping it's productive and rewarding. As with many organizations, we are spending a little time, at the end of last year and the...

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In Data We Trust?

One reason we don't get as much out of our data as we could is that we don't trust it. In this blog post we will cover why we don't trust our data. We will also discuss a single source of truth and...

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Analytics Maturity: Don't Run before You Walk

Your organization faces numerous challenges as it makes its way towards analytics maturity. We are deliberately using that phrase loosely, since what that maturity looks like for your organization...

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The Meeting Place of Data Governance and Cybersecurity

We found ourselves at a trade show last week, and we were amazed as usual by the variety and creativity of software and solutions available. We found ourselves near a company that among other things...

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Managing Data Sprawl

Recently we discussed the concept of data sprawl. We find ourselves very much in the era of data sprawl, with so much data available for capture, so many specialized tools for its collection and...

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Understanding Data Sprawl

As long as the notion of big data has been around, we have known that organizations of all sizes are exposed to more data, more quickly, across more systems and platforms. (These are the three Vs:...

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Data Friction; or, Don't Get Blistered by Your Data

Recently we were working with a client and it came to us after much discussion that the right name for the key problems they were facing was something that should be called "data friction." In the...

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Out with the Old, In with the New?

The big day last week in the United States was Independence Day, July 4th, and we hope everyone was able to enjoy it in their own way. The first week of July is often significant and occasionally...

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Stewarded Data Is Secure Data

Many years ago we worked with a person whose default position on a surprisingly large variety of issues and tasks came down to something like, "If you don't do things this way, the IRS can fine our...

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The Nexus of Data Literacy and Data Governance

In this space last year we devoted a number of posts to how organizations can better understand data literacy among their employees, what sorts of data literacy competencies already exist, what sorts...

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A Lot of Progress, But a Long Way Still to Go

A decade or so ago, when we would introduce the Data Cookbook as a product an organization might be interested in, we generally had to make the case for data governance first, before demonstrating...

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If It Were Easy, Wouldn't You Already Have Done It?

We were recently reminded of #MonkeyFirst, which was something between a thought experiment and an analogy produced by Astro Teller of Google X. Briefly, for those of you who missed it the first time...

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Paths to Data Resiliency

As data practitioners, we assume that even the most skilled user can and will make mistakes, and we have a number of safeguards in place to prevent or remediate them. When users are entering an...

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Helping Data Stakeholders Help Themselves

Your organization, if it has reached certain thresholds of size or complexity, has data stakeholders at all levels and across all domains. A data stakeholder, defined broadly, is someone who uses,...

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Helping Data Consumers

We tend to focus our data governance marketing, training, and services efforts on a few key roles: subject matter experts, business analysts and certain technical resources, and of course data...

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Some Thoughts on Data Literacy and Data Quality

Last week we presented a webinar in our Data Governance--Best Practices series on data quality. Among the recommended practices were identifying the specific type of data quality issue (or issues)...

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Why Don't We Trust Our Data? And What Can We Do about It?

One of the reasons we got into this business was a desire to help organizations make better use of data. Over the years we have worked with hundreds of organizations to introduce data into the...

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Self-Service Analytics Discussion About Gatekeeper Model and Data Governance Framework

Many clients come to us when they are planning, or after they have embarked on, an overhaul to their business intelligence (BI) stack. They have often determined that their legacy tools are not...

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Some Ideas on Taking Full Advantage of Your Data Stewards' Potential

Here at IData, we take an expansive view of data stewards, and we group a wide variety of tasks and responsibilities under the rubric of data stewardship. Without conscientious data stewardship,...

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Making Better Decisions by Better Managing Data

We spend a lot of time in conversation with prospective and active clients talking about their quest to be (more) data-driven. In those conversations, it can be taken for granted what "data-driven"...

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Analytics, Storytelling, and Your Data

Data visualization tools as well as design shops - this is an insufficient and reductive description for talented professionals who take data visualizations and tailor them further into often...

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