Catching up

I hadn’t realized it had been six weeks since I last wrote anything. Huh.

I’ve been busy.

First, we saw Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper in “A Star is Born.” That was the movie that Streisand and Kristofferson should have made. Not only was it incredibly watchable, it was much more believable. There were so many times while watching I thought they were just throwing shade at that unwatchable movie, implicitly saying, “See? You could have done this.”

So, all the busy-ness? I have been pushing through design and development work of a new website, along with building a complete content management system to support it. Often my best work (because of fewer interruptions) occurs late evenings and on into the night. There have also been pieces of this effort that were embedded and now part of the current live site of which I am particularly proud, with some additional modifications underway. Another month or two to finish this off completely.

I have been working to balance the need/desire to do this work with regular self-care routines – I’m almost terrified at the prospect of going back to way my life (and weight) was. To do this, some things have fallen off, like writing, others have shifted around. Life has otherwise stayed much the same, while still managing to increase the intensity of my weight-training significantly.

Life is good.

At the end of September I was in Little Rock, Arkansas as part of a panel discussion on  statewide longitudinal data systems, sharing our experiences in Virginia. I’ve been meaning to write up my thoughts from that day, but haven’t taken the time yet to do so. So I will note the primary theme here as nudge to give it a fuller treatment.

“What most Chief Data Officers and Data Governance people get wrong is this. Control. They make the mistake time and time again that Data Governance is all about control. Controlling access. Controlling definition. Controlling use.

This is wrong because control is very often an illusion, especially when it comes to data. No matter what agreements you enjoin and sign, at some point you give up anything resembling control and can only hope and/or trust that the other party (parties)  live up to their side of the agreement.

In the end, I don’t think this is sustainable. I’m not suggesting the contracts, agreements, MOUs should disappear, because they can’t – they meet a legal need while defining a necessary framework for engagement. Instead I think data governance should focus on the single principle of ‘respect.’ We need to ensure that there is a culture of respect towards the data, towards its use, and most importantly, a constant respect for and of the people the data represent. Too often it seems folks talk about protecting privacy and confidentiality as compliance ritual instead of as a matter of respect. This has to change if we are going to have meaningful data governance and meaningful protections of individuals with a use of data that drives positive change and saely gives voice to those at the margins or those without a voice.”

Be nice. It won't hurt either of us.

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