Small toolkit: 6) Mitigate the gaps
This step defines mitigations for the gaps created. These should be thought of as 'roll up' action plans that are pragmatic and implementable.
Some actions and mitigations are outlined in the worked example below:
|Gap description||From level||To level||Action/Mitigations|
|The value of data is only understood in terms of known outputs. No effort is being put into creating better services with the data we have.||2 - Stable||3 - Proactive||Look for ways data can support existing initiatives or create whole new services. Find a project where this is an issue or opportunity. Canvas senior stakeholders or senior project sponsors. Marketing / Admissions good place to start.|
|A lack of data strategy and data model leads to random activity without roadmaps, designs and principles to determine the best approach and actions.||1 - Reactive||3 - Proactive||Data strategy required plus buy in and support so it 'lives' and shows value. Ensure Data Strategy dovetails with priorities and objectives. Develop iteratively not big bang. Use models to show impacts of change.|
|Data Management is not a collaborative experience. Too much good practice hidden in organisational silos and these silos do not communicate on how the quality and metrics of their outputs/handover.||1 - Reactive||2 - Stable||Training procedures online, cross department groups, framework and governance. Find problems where a cross functional approach will provide successful. Consider Governance with a small g to frame this work. HESA, KIS, etc a good place to start.|
|Accountability and responsibility for data are in organisational silos which is almost never in the right place.||1 - Reactive||2 - Stable||Consider ways to embed Information Asset Ownership, End to End Data Journey, show how this is hindering agility and speed of change. Fix data issues by fixing change process.|
|No Data framework or governance consistently used or published. People just do what they think is best leading to lack of trust of 'data that isn't mine'.||1 - Reactive||3 - Proactive||Data governance framework, showing the value of, transparency, non silo working examples. Find a problem to fix. Education programme around why your data is everyone's data. Show power of holistic approach.|
The most important aspect to consider when crafting mitigations is their ‘do-ability.’ They need to be wide enough to close the gaps in a way that real change can be demonstrated, but narrow enough to be considered credible and actionable.
Once we have defined our mitigations and linked them to themes and dimensions we need to rigorously cross check the linkage all the way back to organisational objectives.
For the small toolkit, the gap analysis should be thought of more as an activity plan. As we are not completing the cross reference exercise (highlighted in purple), the gaps and mitigation must have a narrative clearly explaining that by enacting this activity plan, objectives can be met and issues mitigated. It is worth reviewing the full toolkit example below to show how the cross referencing supports this.
|Gap description||From level||To level||Gap ID||Dimension||Theme||Objective cross referece||Issue cross reference||Benefit cross reference||Risk cross reference|
|Data Management is not a collaborative experience. Too much good practice hidden in organisational silos and these silos do not communicate on how the quality and metrics of their outputs/handover.||1 - Reactive||2 - Stable||3||People and Culture||Reducing the burden||1, 5||7, 8, 9||1, 2||6, 8, 9|
|Deliver a more responsive and collaborative institution||1||Aspirations||Increasing accessibility||People and Culture|
|Reduce operational costs by 10% within 18 months||5||Aspirations||Reducing the burden||Business Process|
|Data Management issues||ID||Dimension||Theme||Objective cross referece|
|Completing statutory returns and reporting obligations is difficult because we always seem to start again.||7||Business Process||Reducing the burden||1, 5|
|No one owns data and everyone owns data! We can't fix anything because we can't agree roles and responsibilites||9||Data Activities||Increasing accessibility||1, 4|
|Benefit summary||ID||Level||Dimension||Theme||Owner||Objective cross referece||Issue cross reference|
|Our collection of costs are efficient, minimised and appropriate||1||3 - Proactive||Business Process||Reducing the burden||Chief Operating Officer||4, 5||1, 5, 7, 8|
|The quality, accuracy and timeliness of our data outputs provides significant decision support for operational and strategic questions||2||3 - Proactive||Business Process||Increasing accessibility||Head of Institution||1, 3||1, 4, 9|
- Re-open the gap analysis tab and complete the mitigating actions using the gaps query tool to help you frame the mitigations.
- [Full toolkit only] Check these actions do still support the cross referencing of objectives, issues and benefits from the previous section.
- Consider the best approach to find a way to implement these actions and who you will need to involve to make it happen.