Case Studies

Mapping Data Strategy for an Industry Educator

By Daragh O Brien
June 30, 2020
8min read
Data GovernanceData LiteracyData StrategyMaturity Assessment
Mapping Data Strategy for an Industry Educator


Castlebridge helped an internationally recognised professional organisation fill in the data-shaped gaps in their strategic transformation vision, leading to an improved implementation approach for their business strategy to serve and support their individual members and their industry sponsors.

The Pain Point

The client was a prestigious professional body with a strong professional education and skills development remit across a number of regulated sectors.

Following on from the development of a renewed strategic vision for the organisation, they were moving at pace to develop and implement new process and technology capabilities to support professional development in the sectors they serve (primarily financial services). However, the road-map and plan had a large black box in the to-do list called “Data”, but there was a lack of certainty about what the size, scope, and impact of that known unknown might be on the delivery of the overall business strategy of the organisation.

An objective assessment was needed to help unpack the black box of data, identify the dependencies between the business goals of the organisation and their data capabilities, and develop a feasible and achievable road map to help them evolve first to a “data driven” organisation, but ultimately to allow the organisation, its learners, and its members to become more “information-enabled”.

And, due to Covid-19 restrictions, this had to be done against a tight time scale and as an entirely virtual project.

The Plan

Castlebridge provided the Data Strategy know-how as part of a collaborative project with a peer consultancy that had an existing relationship with the client. We handled the data, our partner managed the project management and co-ordination.

We applied our Data Strategy Framework to distill the business objectives of the organisation and map those to critical data capabilities. We also assessed the maturity of the organisation in terms of its current data management capabilities, reviewed the proposed business operating model and planned technical architecture, and assessed the hidden costs of non-quality data in the organisation.

From this, we developed a clearly mapped data strategy aligned with the business strategy with a defined road map for implementation that was appropriate for the organisation.

The Outcome

The clarity provided by Castlebridge on the critical role of data to the success of the organisation’s business strategy helped inform and support a number of key decisions on the overall roll out of the business strategy and associated technology investments.

While challenging, this freed up resources (capital and people) to work on building the operating model and governance structures needed to properly ensure that the data assets of the organisation were fit for purpose to support the business strategy. By focusing attention on the critical relationships between the data and metadata managed by the organisation to the delivery of future professional development journeys, the need to ensure that staff understand data in the organisation and understand their role in its management and use (Data Literacy), and by highlighting the hidden (and avoidable) costs of poor quality data in the organisation, the strategy developed by Castlebridge for this organisation provides a pragmatic and realistic foundation on which future information-enabled innovation can be built in a sustainable manner.

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