Minimum Data

by | Nov 8, 2018 | Change, Development, ICT4D, Ideas

Social organisations collect a ridiculous amount of data.  We rarely know why or how well we use the data, we just collect it.  We build systems, business processes around this data.  We hire staff because of this data.

But we rarely stop to ask if we actually need the data.  We may once have needed it, but do we still?  Are we collecting the data or writing the report simply because it’s what we’ve always done?  Do we know if anyone reads the reports?

Every system, every process should annually review the data it collects and determine what the minimum data we can collect to achieve the intended purpose.  Data minimisation can be ‘sold’ as a cost reduction and efficiency service as data costs money:

  • Collection costs
  • Analysis costs
  • Storage costs
  • Brings organisational risk
  • And is, often, an invasion of privacy

It is hard work, no doubt about it.  Do it anyway


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