Building a technology tool inventory will be beneficial to your organization. This post describes the benefits of having a technology tool inventory, steps we recommend to build your technology tool inventory and what should be in your technology tool inventory. Technology tools include your reporting solutions, integration / ETL tools, and scripting/programming tools.
Here are some benefits we came up with when you have an technology tool inventory in place:
- Provides knowledge on what technology tools are out there and makes you aware of tools you did not know existed. Before you can solve issues with your tools you need to know the list of the tools being used.
- Gains understanding for how people are using your technology tools. By the tool's current use you can determine ways to improve the the use of the tool.
- Improves staff data literacy by them knowing how to get access to the technology tool and who is the owner of the tool.
- Consolidates documentation in one place which allows for better consistency, training, and accessibility.
- Increases linkage with other data governance-related content such as data systems which will improve understanding.
- Discovers opportunities for tool consolidation with possible cost savings including possible software licensing savings or cases where a tool can be eliminated completely.
Here are some steps in building a technology tool inventory:
- Define the initial scope and business requirements for technology tool inventory – As with any project, make sure that you have the objectives, scope of the inventory project and the business requirements defined so that everyone is on the same page.
- Determine the stakeholders of the technology tool inventory – Are the stakeholders within one department or is it the whole organization?
- Develop the technology tool inventory design and framework – As a group, decide what it is you are going to capture in this inventory. This should be driven by the project’s objectives and scope.
- Determine where/how you will store, maintain, and access this information in the technology tool inventory - Where is the inventory going to live (spreadsheet, intranet site or software solution like the Data Cookbook). Determine a location that is easily accessible to those that need it.
- Solicit input from the stakeholders – Reach out to the stakeholders and get the necessary information for the inventory.
- Populate the technology tool inventory – Enter the gathered information into the chosen tool of the inventory. Make sure that the information is accurate and consistent.
- Develop a process for maintaining and governing the technology tool inventory – Check the inventory for accuracy. Determine the best way to validate the inventory. Document the process to keep the inventory up to date. Determine the process on what to do if tools change and what to do if the tool owner changes.
- Share the information – Make sure that the technology tool inventory is accessible to those that need it. Convince them of its importance. Let them know that it will be accurate and updated. Provide them with the tool owners and the process to update information and request access.
The inventory should include the following:
- Tool Name
- Tool Type
- Tool Description such as "Tool for developing views, managing users, interacting with schema."
- Details about the Tool (including vendor of the tool)
- Related Data Systems
- Owner in the Organization of the Tool
- Access Contact
- Access Detail - what is the process to gain access as a user
- Resources and Documentation such as links to training videos, pdfs of user documentation and URLs with useful information about the technology tool
- Other Information such as "Requires the installation of MySQL drivers, unless those are already in place.", renewal date, renewal cost
Data Governance Solution
You can keep your technology tool inventory in a spreadsheet but it works much better in a data governance / data intelligence solution like the Data Cookbook. This makes searching for information about tools easier.
IData has experts who can assist organizations with implementing and maintaining data governance. Hope this post was helpful in an understanding technology tool inventory. If you would like to see the Data Cookbook in action or need assistance in your data governance and data intelligence efforts feel free to
Image credit StockSnap_YNKHEDUMB5_happyman_technologytoolinventory_BP #1232