In this five part blog post I will present a number of different types of data personality that people may recognise from the organisations that they are involved in. I will provide examples of how these personalities operate and suggest ways that we need to engage them to improve how data is managed.
I have titled these posts “The Data Zoo” as there may be many different species of data user within the zoo, there are also different sub-species, which may form part of future blog posts.
I am sure most people will recognise that different people interact with data (and each other) in different ways; however, it is not always easy to understand the different ways that these personalities behave. Whilst psychologists would undoubtedly have sophisticated tools for defining personalities, I propose a simple structure which will help to define the different data personalities and how they relate to each other. The personalities have been plotted onto a matrix using two key dimensions – Compliance and Enthusiasm:
- Compliance is a measure for how well these data personalities comply with the written and unwritten procedures and standards of an organisation. If new circumstances arise how will they behave? Where there is uncertainty what will they do?
- Enthusiasm is a measure for how much energy a data personality puts into data related activities (whether correctly applied or not!). This can include energy and enthusiasm for populating corporate systems or for developing and updating local spreadsheet based solutions which may or may not have official awareness and approval.
The diagram below illustrates the different species in the Data Zoo based upon these two dimensions.
The following blog posts in this series will explain these different data personalities in more detail and will explore the good and the bad characteristics of these personalities.