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C-Suite Special Series Part 4:
Management and Governance – get clear on the difference

Management and Governance – get clear on the difference

This final instalment of our C-Suite Special Series is targeted to one of the most impact-heavy mistakes we see high level management making; one that has the potential to be hugely detrimental to ongoing business assurance, in this age of ever-expanding legal and regulatory requirements. Management and Governance - Do you know the difference?

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C-Suite Special Series Part 3:
Essential communication skills for CEOs

Essential communication skills for CEOs

IT staff have an impossible task – to provide the entire enterprise with perfect tools for the collection, storage and usage of data, which must always be perfect because they will then feed perfect reports on which perfect business decisions can be made. One imperfection in the report figures and the IT department gets the blame. But it’s not usually their fault. And almost never their fault entirely. Greater fault often lies with business staff who don’t have sufficient knowledge, or don’t have the skills and tools, to communicate effectively with IT staff. But the imperfect report isn’t really their fault either...

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C-Suite Special Series Part 2:
Why your struggles are your greatest strength

Why your struggles are your greatest strength

So often in modern businesses we find a culture of covering up, down playing or outright denial of problems, mistakes and struggles. People are fearful of admitting their inability to be perfect and to do everything perfectly, because it may impact their reputation, career or prospects within the company, or even their job security. We know how this type of culture can undermine business assurance, but it goes deeper than just the long-term security of the business bottom line. Recognising your organisation’s struggles is the clearest signpost to your greatest potential for impact.

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C-Suite Special Series Part 1:
What does being a great business leader really mean?

What does being a great business leader really mean?

We all know what its like to be “just one of the worker bees” in huge companies who’s C-Suite leaders don’t seem to know or care what’s really happening down on the ground of their business.

Those leaders only stay a few years, they make a few “quick win” decisions that seem to improve the bottom line but everyone knows those decisions will come back to bite the company in a few years. And we all know...

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Better Business Assurance 101: Information Governance

Better Business Assurance 101: Information Governance

In Season Two of the Netflix production 'A Series of Unfortunate Events', we see the Bauldelaire children befriend Hal, the overseer of a hospital records library. In Hal’s library, records arrive down a chute and filing can begin. In keeping with the quirky nature of the series, it’s clear that while Hal runs an imbecilely tidy and efficient library, filing things immediately and with minimal fuss, the system has been created to get things filed without much thought to why anyone might want to file, keep or access the items being filed. It’s a humorous and silly twist in the ongoing saga, but for those of us who’ve worked in or with large organisations, that create large amounts of (particularly digital) information, it cuts amusingly close to the bone.

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The Lessons of Wiki – Why businesses need an absolute truth

The Lessons of Wiki – Why businesses need an absolute truth

For several years it’s been recognised that Wikipedia’s army of contributors is shrinking. To add further complexity to our search for reliable information, we are unavoidably subjected to short snippets of news for which facts must largely be assumed. Of greater concern is that these same patterns and practices are creeping into our business information.

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The Cost of Convenience Part 2: Digital Disruption

The Cost of Convenience: Digital Disruption

Digital disruption is becoming a necessary consideration for every industry and individual. While the initial consumer savings may be a welcome change, the impact on our entire economy is looming and the outlook isn’t particularly good.

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The Cost of Convenience Part 1: Cyber Security

The Cost of Convenience: Cyber Security

As the new year does its best to wake up and start Australia moving once again, I can’t shake the one topic that sums up my current thinking about 2018: Uber.

It seems that it was 2017’s issues of cyber security that threaten to have the biggest immediate impact on all of our day to day lives in the coming year and beyond.

Uber’s recent revelation of its cyber security breech came at an interesting time for me, not because I’m likely to be one of the 1.2 million Australians in the Uber breach but because, as a business owner, the threat of being hacked is an ever-increasing concern.

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Why IT staff should care about how the business defines its terms

Why IT staff should care about how the business defines its terms

When someone in your business asks you to build a “solution” to meet their business need, it’s the start of a long process you both hope will be successful.

But we know that’s not always the case. And when it isn’t, they’ll blame you for blowing out time and/or budget and for the end product not being what they wanted.

You’ll likely be able to point out that you delivered what they asked for, but what they asked for wasn’t what they really wanted, and how were you meant to know that?

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The Cost of Flawed Intelligence

The Cost of Flawed Intelligence

We are all experiencing the rise of “big data” and “analytics” as key strategic initiatives in large organisations. I find myself often questioning whether these expensive investment decisions are based on facts about real business issues or more on opinions and analytical assumptions, often reinforced by technology vendors.

But without understanding an organisation’s operational and informational issues, there can be little chance of solid return from such investment. The decisions are being based on “flawed” intelligence – and we know where that can lead.

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Data, Information and ensuring Michelin quality in the dining room

Data, Information and ensuring Michelin quality in the dining room

Once an expertly prepared meal leaves the kitchen, the Michelin starred chef knows that the dish will be carried through the dining room in a specific way, presented to the table according to standards and protocols...

But in your business, who’s controlling the delivery, presentation, usage and accompaniments to your information artefacts? Can those who are consuming those business information artefacts assume everything has been controlled so that their experience of the information will be of a consistent quality?

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Data, Information and why Michelin starred chefs are control freaks in their kitchens

Data, Information and why Michelin starred chefs are control freaks in their kitchens

A Michelin starred chef runs a tight ship in his kitchen.
The kitchen team have a clear hierarchy. Each member has very specific responsibilities. They follow strict food preparation instructions, following exact recipes.
It is no less important for your organisation to govern its business information kitchen. The creation of business information resources (we like to call them artefacts) should be strongly governed, to guarantee the business and financial assurance of the company.

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Data, Information and why Michelin star chefs don’t buy supermarket produce

Data, Information and why Michelin star chefs don’t buy supermarket produce

You know that moment, the first mouthful of the dish, when the taste powerfully infuses through your taste buds and somehow takes over your entire focus – the meal is THAT good. The difference between that Michelin quality meal and our home cooked “good enough” dinner is not dissimilar to information produced from data stores within organisations. The same raw data is available to all but the results that come from using it can vary greatly...

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Aircraft Wing Failure (and Why Business Definition Standards are Essential to Information Governance)

Aircraft Wing Failure and Business Definition Standards Essential to Information Governance

In the mid 80s I worked for an aircraft manufacturer. My job there involved assigning identification numbers to raw materials – everything from sheet metal to bags of rivets and fasteners to avionics – and tracking their use against each manufactured component of the aircraft. Similar to data lineage, this requirement covers the eventuality of a component failure in an operational aircraft, allowing traceability back to the faulty component batch and forward to other aircraft using components from the same batch. But my story here is about the aircraft design, in particular, wing design...

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DMZ, Wooden Stairs and Data Modelling

Wooden Stairs and Data Modelling

For several years, I’ve been concerned with a trend in my clients’ DW and BI groups to leave the data modelling (design) to the ETL developers (builders). My concerns here aren’t ones of safety, like the stairs, but of (a) the future of data modelling...

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Cookies or Biscuits? The Power of a Common Business Language

Common Business Language

With today’s data explosion, we are drowning in data but starving for information. The onslaught of cheap processing power and data storage has enabled a significant increase in the data stored within an organisation. Unfortunately, in many cases that data cannot provide business intelligence (or information) because there is no clear translation from the data to our information needs or vice versa.

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