It’s been a while since we have talked about data requests. An established data request process is an important part of data governance and should provide accurate and trusted information. Often one data request leads to additional data requests which leads to additional information in the data governance knowledge base. This blog post will talk about data request prioritization, what should be on requests, and the needs for a process as well as data stewardship.
Here are a few thoughts regarding data requests.
First, determine the types of data requests you receive and who is making these requests. Some examples of types of requests could be about new report creation, explanation of data on existing reports, data quality issues, or new business glossary definitions. Are these internal staff requests or requests from external folks, or both? Check out our blog post titled "Who is Requesting Data and the Types of Requests".
Second, you want to eliminate the request if possible. How do you do this? Be as self-service as possible. A data governance knowledge base is critical for this, which is accessible and easily searched. Why request a new report if you can see one exists that will do what you want. The Data Cookbook has a data governance knowledge base that will eliminate the duplication of requests.
Third, have a documented data request process in place. There is a life cycle for data requests. Click here for our infographic about the data request life cycle. Make sure that staff is aware of the process including when they can expect a response. The Data Cookbook handles the entire life cycle of data requests.
Fourth, determine how you will rank or prioritize data requests. Maybe something like the following:
- Priority Level 1 – Externally required reporting or decision-making support for critical business processes and/or strategic initiatives
- Priority Level 2 – Department required reporting or department-level assessment
- Priority Level 3 – Information request by staff to support individual or department needs
- Priority Level 4 – General interest request
Fifth, have a data request form or ticket that people can fill out to make and describe their data request. The Data Cookbook has templates for requests. Here is what could be on the ticket:
- Date of Request
- Person Making the Request
- Email Address of Person Making the Request
- Organization of Person Making the Request (if external) or Department of Person Making the Request (if internal)
- What is Data Request in Detail?
- Purpose of the Request or Use of the Data
- Desired Completion Date
Sixth, have data stewards in place that can handle the data requests as they come in. The form or ticket should be put into a workflow and routed to the appropriate data steward. If you don’t have one, create a data steward matrix so you know who gets the request. Check out our blog post about a matrix. The Data Cookbook has the necessary workflows so that the right data stewards are notified of the appropriate data requests.
Seventh, have data requests resources available that new employees can access so that they understand how data requests are handled in the organization. This should be part of new employee onboarding training. Have a web page where data request resources and access to the ticketing system are available. Additional resources (blog posts, videos, and recorded webinars) regarding data requests can be found in this blog post. Also feel free to watch our recorded webinar titled “The Amazing ROI of a Well-Executed Report Request Process”.
We hope this blog post helps you and your organization in handling data requests.Additional resources on data governance, data intelligence, and data management can be found at www.datacookbook.com/dg.
IData has a solution, the Data Cookbook, that can aid the employees and the organization in its data governance and data intelligence efforts including data requests. IData also has experts that can assist with data governance, reporting, integration, and other technology services on an as needed basis. Feel free to contact us and let us know how we can assist.
(image credit StockSnap_ASXXRUDCL7_ManonLaptop_TalkDataRequests_BP #1195)