AFMA Data Strategy Feasibility Exercise
In February 2020, the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) initiated a feasibility exercise to understand the benefits of designing and implementing a data strategy. The vision of the data strategy is to improve AFMA’s data management capability to support the agency’s mission of securing Australia’s fishing future.
AFMA faced several key challenges pertaining to their data management capability;
- Little understanding of their data needs.
- Poor visibility across agency data.
- Inconsistent data quality.
- Siloed Data.
- Legacy Data integration and usability.
- No centralised data governance.
- Ineffective training and capability planning.
Overcoming these difficulties would be essential for the successful implementation and execution of a data strategy.
E&A undertook a Feasibility and Discovery phase engaging stakeholders across AFMA to better understand the business needs and opportunities, further developing recommendations to inform the data strategy.
Personas were developed to articulate the voice of the business areas that were engaged, which were analysed to identify common themes, insights and opportunity areas to improve the agency’s data management capability. These outputs were developed using co-design techniques and allowed for further review by stakeholders, empowering agency voices and ensuring artefact accuracy.
Opportunity questions were developed to capture the overarching data management need as well as the business benefit.
The outcomes of this stage capture the business and user needs of AFMA to frame what a data strategy must address to deliver measurable benefits.
There has been significant growth in both the need and production of fisheries data from many different sources, such as government, industry, research and sea-product supply chains. AFMA relies on the ability to create, collect and use data to enable its role in fisheries management. This expected growth in data creation provides opportunities for the agency to gain new insights that support decision-making.
Why a Data Strategy
Data has traditionally been perceived as an aspect of a technology project. It has not been treated as a reusable asset that optimises efficiency across an organisation. The result is duplicate data, processing overlaps and little awareness that individual projects are replicating work.
Research findings identified the need to improve all aspects of the data lifecycle, including data creation, collection, storage, analysis and reporting. These insights have been categorised into themes that are further decomposed into opportunity areas that AFMA’s data strategy must answer to provide measurable business benefits.
The Outcome and Benefits
AFMA’s data strategy must establish common methods, practices, tools and processes to manage, manipulate and share data within and outside of the organisation in a consistent manner while providing flexibility to those business areas with unique needs.
It is recommended that a data strategy is designed that aligns to AFMA’s overarching business objectives while providing pragmatic guidance on the roles of technology, processes, skills and leadership required to uplift the agency’s data management needs.