Collaborating to tackle Data Governance
It is one of the most crucial questions in an information economy: who will own, control and benefit from the vast ocean of data it generates? Canada’s Digital Charter underlines the importance of standardization to help ensure Canadians and their businesses prosper in this new and rapidly evolving global environment. The most important currency in society is trust. Without it, we lose confidence in the systems and institutions that bind us together. Ensuring trust in the management of data is of absolute importance and we must act decisively to ensure an open and reliable system of data governance . In response, the Standards Council of Canada (SCC) has convened the Canadian Data Governance Standardization Collaborative, a group of committed experts and stakeholders from across government, industry and broader civil society tasked with articulating the need for clearly-defined standardization strategies for data governance.
Canada is committed to a level data playing field and the promotion of transparency, portability, and interoperability across domains. If Canadians are going to succeed in the rapidly expanding global data marketplace, they will need to know that data is being handled by organizations committed to a compatible and equitable set of standards for data governance.
Establishing a robust and reliable set of standardization strategies for Data Governance will require close collaboration among government, private industry and broader civil society – which includes not-for-profits and non-governmental organizations representing specific, collective interests within society, including those of individual private citizens.
The Canadian Data Governance Standardization Collaborative (“the Collaborative”) was established in May 2019 as a cross-sector coordinating body with the objective to accelerate the development of industry-wide data governance standardization strategies. It is led by co-chairs Anil Arora , Canada’s Chief Statistician, and Philip Dawson , the Public Policy Lead at Element AI, an artificial intelligence products provider based in Montreal, Canada, and a global thought leader in the adoption of responsible AI.
The Collaborative is not tasked with developing standards. Its role is to articulate needs, propose coordinated standardization activity, minimize duplication of effort, and enable stakeholders to focus their resources in this effort. The Collaborative’s one, overarching task is to accelerate the development of industry-wide data governance standardization strategies that are:
- consistent with stakeholder needs, and
- facilitate the growth of data governance capabilities in line with national and global priorities.
As a consensus-builder and facilitator of the standardization system, the Canadian Data Governance Standardization Collaborative has four principal tasks:
- Identify Canadian priority areas for Data Governance that might benefit from standardization, including areas of particular interest to individual Canadians;
- Conduct an environmental scan, gaps analysis, and catalogue stakeholder needs;
- Deliver a comprehensive and consensus-based roadmap describing the current and desired Canadian standardization landscape, including recommendations to address gaps and new areas where standards and conformity assessment are needed; and,
Propose national and international standardization initiatives and recommend the appropriate timelines and organizations that can perform the work.
The Collaborative has created four working groups to help it deliver on its mandate. Each working group will focus on a specific set of issues related to data governance. If you think you have a role to play and wish to participate in the activities of the Collaborative, we are interested in hearing from you. Please register online or contact Anneke Olvera, DGSC Secretary by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 613-238-3222 ext. 474.