Shortlisting Critical Data Elements

Not all data is created equally and not all data elements are of equal importance or value to an organisation.

Shortlisting critical data elements and handling them with care because they are key inputs to a firm’s critical business processes and reports; are key to an effective data governance program.

Shortlisting CDEs is not only a regulatory requirement in multiple industries but it also serves numerous benefits by reducing complexity involved in managing data. It makes easier for firms to manage quality of smaller number of key data and also ensure data integrity & fitness-for-purpose with implementation of control policies, security measures etc.

Creating lineage on critical data further helps in removing manual interventions throughout data lifecycle. The shortlisted CDEs must be assigned ownership (usually under a data officer) at organization or group levels.

Deriving CDE's can be a complicated task, as there are no set guidelines on the process of identifying critical data. Policy makers mandate that the CDEs be shortlisted by firms under their regulatory oversight however, refrain from prescribing any standards or guidelines. This is because they expect the data owner must fully understand their data and its usage to be able to identify the critical elements out of it.

This paper advises firms on the what, why and how of shortlisting Critical Data Elements.

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