Exclusive Interview With The World’s Premier Authority On Data Governance


Saqib Malik   Brand Contributor

Exclusive Interview With The World’s Premier Authority On Data Governance

In the Age of Information, data has immense value. When properly utilized, data can help companies find untapped markets, streamline their services and uncover additional profits to improve their bottom line. The unfortunate truth is: poorly managed data could be burning a hole in your pocket just for existing. 

Since the term came into vogue, many companies are now quick to claim that they're "data-driven", but how much of that data is actually dirty?  

 "Dirty data can not only hinder economic profitability, but also restrict businesses from maximizing the potential of their data '' says W. Daniel Cox III who is the premier authority on Data Governance and CEO of Ascention - the market leader in CLEAN data. 

With Australian offices in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra, Ascention ranked #2 on CRN's Fast50 in 2020 - an award that recognises the fastest-growing companies in the Australian IT channel. Since then, they have expanded into New Zealand and Singapore with a growing presence in Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines and Guam - a testament to their growing worldwide presence. 

So what exactly is data? 

Using an analogy, Ascention helps simplify this for their customers, “Think of data as a language - it’s something we must define, govern and educate people on in order to be of value to society, or in this case, a company” explains Dan. The accuracy and availability of data make or break the engagement between a service provider and its customers and this is particularly the case for industries with a lot of scrutiny - such as banking, financial services and government. “We help these large and complex institutions manage operational efficiency through their own data and help maintain their compliance posture to avoid being hit with hefty regulatory fines,” says Dan.  

 To further illustrate the kind of work they do, Ascention collaborated with the Australian Northern Territory Government to link known aliases and identities across multiple government service systems. The challenge they faced was that many Aboriginal & Native Australian residents of the Northern Territory went under different aliases depending on where they were and what season it was. This was further compounded by the fact that much of the population tended to migrate and did not own birth certificates, making it nearly impossible for civil service organizations to identify an individual. Through their work, Ascention was successful in integrating with a master dataset that could verify the same individuals across the different interaction channels while abiding by the relevant legislation and personal security measures. 

Dan goes on to comment, “we developed our trademark CLEAN data framework to simplify the process and values that we bring to our clients”  

Ascention’s CLEAN Data Framework: 

C: Caring about the story and outcomes of their clients, and focusing on identifying Data Importance 

L: Language that sets the standards to efficiently communicate across internal and external stakeholders, establishing Data Governance 

E: Explanation of data in the context of the business, training and educating clients in their Data Literacy 

A: Accountability established by Data Ownership through Data Lineage, creating a focus on Data Quality 

N: Not Alone emphasises that Ascention are a part of their client's team and ensures that not only will their data be CLEAN and valuable, but their ongoing partnership and training will enhance the value and usability of their data into the future. 

 "CLEAN data does not mean 100% perfect data, but rather it needs to be put in context of its usage and purpose for being," explains Dan. "The context or focused outcomes drive understanding of what is important and consequently, what data is important." 


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Saqib Malik   Contributor