Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Data management lessons from kindergarten

My youngest daughter, Mia will soon be 4 years old. She is such a little chatterbox at the moment, and is into everything - just like a typical little girl of her age.

Just before Christmas, I had some time off, so I picked her up from school. While I was waiting with the other parents, I cast my eye around the classroom, and some of the posters reminded me that some things learned in kindergarten can be applied to modern data management. 

1. Hold hands before you cross the road
There are risks in every part of society. Business is a careful balance of risk and opportunity. It is important that everyone plays their part in looking after each other to ensure no-one is exposed to unnecessary risk. To do this, we all have to work together and look out for each other.

2.  Put things away when you've finished playing with them
Data is like any other tool in business. When you have finished using it, ensure it is stored in a secure area, where no-one can steal it. When your data is no longer required, ensure it is deleted securely and safely.

3.  Sharing is caring
Re-using the same measures, sharing data sources and not re-extracting the same data over and over again is not only practical, but extremely time efficient. 

4.  Don't forget to say 'please' and 'thank you'
Manners are a minimum standard of behaviour. Just think what would happen if you insisted on minimum standards for your data and enforced them through every process throughout your organisation.

OK, perhaps I've been stretching some metaphors here. But I wonder how much better our world would be if we just followed some simple principles, universally.


  1. I really like the metaphors you used. The ideas are simple, understandable, and a lot easier to put into applicable use. Thanks for the sharing this!

    Ruby Badcoe

    1. Thanks for your great comment, Ruby.

      It is my aim to bring understanding to everyone, as once people understand principles, they can find their own way to apply them. I also think if you truly know your subject, you can explain it to anyone. Hence my sometimes off-the-wall blog :-)