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data citizen

Everyone is a data citizen…… Every single one of us.

As a public data citizen, it is our civic duty to ensure data has strong truthiness to it. We also have a responsibility to report the opposite

Collectively, organizations have similar civic data responsibilities along with some highly specialized roles to support the quality of data throughout the data lifespan. Regardless, the adoption of a cyber-conscious culture is critical for your organization's  data aegis.  


Let's go over some of the more pertinent roles for your organization's data world:

Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) – relatively new to the c-suite, ‘serves and protects' in all matters concerning data and systems which produce and consume the good stuff. This leadership position sets forth all compliance requirements to ensure organizational data is delivered and protected to the highest level possible. This role reports directly to a corporate board. Core activities consist of managing IT processes (including regular and systemic monitoring of data subjects), data security (dealing with cyber attacks) other critical business continuity issues surrounding the holding and processing of personal/sensitive data. ​Must have expert knowledge of global, federal and state data protection laws, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), U.S. Privacy Act, Freedom of Information (FOIA) etc. Must also have expert knowledge of business data laws:  Financial Institutions – Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX), Basel III, BCBS 239, BCBS/IOSCO, CCAR, CFTC, CRD IV, Dodd-Frank and Health – HIPAA, HITECH Act.

Cyber Hacker - Yes, I am actually recommending that you hire a certified ethical hacker to serve as your ultimate testing resource for cyber security. The more integrated this role is in your organization, the better. 


The Data Curator – Data analysis is a thankless job and tends to produce umpteen duplicated (siloed) efforts rarely a consorted effort. This role is further exasperated by organizations having numerous formal databases and too many informal ones (think Excel). So, the effort to reuse data collection & analysis activities when bringing disparate data together (i.e. munging) requires a specialized talent. This role is too big to tackle without silent giants supporting them. Here’s an interesting paper from Berkeley University supporting this theory: Crowd sourcing Applications and Platforms: A Data Management Perspective.

Data Curators have tools too. Here’s a industry darling, Tamr- a tool that tackles the data curation problem at scale (i.e. puny to exascale) by automating the data curation process as much as possible using machine learning and statistical methods (only asks the domain expert for input in the cases where it is not clear how to fix the problem). The system also allows the user to define a specific threshold for each inconsistency that requires human intervention. Pretty cool, right?

​The Data Scientist – the Data Curator sets the data groundwork for the Data Scientist to utilize. With the data canvas in place, the Data Scientist does the magic developing analytics, statistical models, forecasts and probabilities. The Data Scientist is a skilled mathematician and has a deep knowledge in a business domain. Here is an inexpensive, educational primer on “the Making of a Data Scientist”.

Click here for continuing the discussion of data citizenry in your organization.

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