As part of world standards month, we interviewed Aristotle Metadata Chief Operating Officer Lauren Eickhorst to learn from her experience on why standards are important, how people can get involved and why standards are important for data management.
Tell me about why you think standards are important?
Having clear data standards can be a game changer for organisations, streamlining documentation and allowing organisations to be proactive, opposed to being in a continual reactive state.
For me, it’s all about keeping our clients happy, and guess what? They really care about standards. Why? Because it makes sharing data super easy within our teams and across our whole organisation. It’s like speaking the same language - nobody gets left behind, and everyone’s on the same page.
So, having these standards isn’t just about being organised; it’s about making sure everyone’s happy and connected.
Why are standards important to Aristotle and how does it impact your work?
When it comes to data standards, some companies don’t always stick to them - their systems are like open portals where anything goes and it’s a bit of a free-for-all. But here at Aristotle - it’s different - we encourage and incentivise people to follow standards. Sure, you could use 11179 or other tools, but the thing is, they don’t always stick to the guidelines. It can be a bit of a maze, and honestly, sometimes you’re not sure if you’re doing it correctly.
The standards we follow are not just made by any random person. They’re created as a collaboration by groups of experts and professionals to not only suit an organisation’s purpose, but to build confidence for users by providing a set of guidelines allowing them to ensure they’re doing the right thing.
At the end of the day, it’s about trust and reliability.
Should organisations and create their own data standards?
It’s a bit of a yes and no situation. It really depends.
On one side, it gets people talking about standards, and it’s a great way to start speaking the same language and having open conversations about what is necessary for the organisation.
But, on the other hand, if it’s an internal standard that only you use, the chances are that no one else will understand it, or it won’t have relevance in the larger organisation, creating data siloes that can’t communicate with one another.
On the topic of data, do you think data is people-focused or is it a purely technical area?
You know, a lot of people tend to focus more on the technical side of things, but what they really should be looking at is the people side. You can’t have good content management without solid processes, and that kind of thing requires good communication between people. It’s not just about the tech; it’s about how people work together and communicate.