Data Health Check-up

This is a quick self-assessment to help build a high level understanding of your organization's current state with respect to data. We understand that organization-wide data initiatives may be out of reach for some organizations, and that your focus may be more departmental. While we encourage an organization-wide perspective, if the scope of your involvement with data, or the focus of your capacity building efforts are more strictly departmental, please answer these questions from a departmental perspective. 

This is a self-assessment and the more accurate the supplied information is, the more helpful our  recommendations will be for your organization's data capacity roadmap. After you complete the Data Health Check-up, we will reach out to schedule a 30-minute consultation.







Department (if applicable)

Please specify a department name if you are completing this survey for one particular department and not your whole organization.


How would you best characterize the system(s) that you rely on?

Please select the answer that best describes your current overall system structure.


What system(s) do you use?

Data Capacity


A single person or defined team owns the responsibility and accountability for all decision-making, governance and compliance pertaining to data.


A Data Leader is an essential role for an organization or department that is focused on building data culture. The Data Leader provides centralized ownership for decision-making, strategy and compliance as it relates to data. 

Typical responsibilities include:

  1. Decision-making and oversight on all aspects of data, including system selection when needed

  2. Maintain an active, updated inventory of all systems, including any peripheral applications in use 

  3. Leads regular reviews of current systems and organizational data needs

  4. Oversee transitions, training and change management when new systems and/or processes are implemented

  5. Define and implement data governance standards across systems

  6. Ensure compliance with data privacy regulations, including overseeing security requirements


We have an inventory of data systems, sources and data collected that is in use across the organization/department.


An inventory of data systems can include documentation and/or diagrams that show how data systems interact, a data dictionary that enumerates data collected in each separate system and highlights any personally identifying or sensitive information.

The inventory should include data systems and any informal data sources (Excel spreadsheets for example) that are in use by personnel. This type of inventory helps in identifying areas of overlap and vulnerability with any data collection or storage.


Business processes are documented, allowing us to understand the interrelationship between processes and how information flows in our organization.


Business process documentation is often a first step in understanding both the lifecycle of data at your organization and where business processes can be improved. Business process documentation can include narrative descriptions of processes or workflow diagrams. This type of documentation illustrates the lifecycle of information as it is used to fulfill business needs. Documentation helps answer questions such as:  What are the input points for data? Is any sensitive data at risk of being exposed while it is in use? Where are the gaps and/or instances of duplicate data entry?


We have a defined governance structure in place for maintaining standards and managing practices across the lifecycle of our organization’s/department's data.


Governance pertains to the management of information and data across the entire life cycle, from initial collection through to storage, reporting, and ultimately disposal. 

This involves maintaining and communicating standards for handling all information that is collected, including paper-based and informal processes that may exist alongside any more formal data systems.

Careful attention is paid to data sources that include personal identifiable information (PII), and appropriate security measures are implemented at all points across the lifecycle.


We are compliant with all applicable data privacy regulations such as HIPAA, PCI DSS, GDPR, New York SHIELD and other emerging state laws.


Legal regulations with respect to information and data have been in existence for quite some time. Laws such as HIPAA apply to specific types of organizations. However, in recent years and most notably in 2018 with GDPR, we have seen the emergence of data privacy laws which apply much more broadly. In the United States, the laws can be hard to keep track of as they are passed at a state level. In any data privacy program, the first step is maintaining awareness of which laws apply and what the requirements are. This is particularly important if the organization/department collects or processes data that includes personal identifiable information (PII) or sensitive information.


New personnel, interns and anyone interacting with data systems receive training as part of an onboarding process, and we provide ongoing training to staff as part of their professional development.


Providing training as part of onboarding or ongoing re-skilling generally involves providing standard, role-appropriate instruction for personnel. The establishment of a culture of learning within an organization can become an organizational asset.

It should also be noted that compliance with many security regulations requires that regular training be provided to all staff.

It should also be noted that compliance with many security regulations requires that regular training be provided to all staff.


Personnel are able to access relevant and timely reports directly from our system(s).


Access to data means that personnel at different levels are familiar with what data is available to them, and how to access that from relevant system(s). 

As a first step, personnel need to have appropriate permissions so that they can access and run reports on the data that are relevant to their day-to-day responsibilities. Ideally, they have access to up-to-date relevant information in the form of dynamically generated reports and dashboards.


Our systems are integrated or reporting is configured so that data is easily available in a usable manner.

Select N/A if you are not working with multiple systems.


For those who are working with multiple systems, this means that it is possible for staff and leadership to easily view reports or dashboards that combine data in a way that is meaningful. Integration does not necessitate that disparate data systems themselves are connected to each other. Rather, this means that it is possible to generate reports that combine data from different sources without requiring a lot of rework or manual reassembly in a spreadsheet.


Personnel use metrics to measure progress and success in their department(s) or area(s).


This means that success metrics or "KPIs" or key performance indicators have been defined by leadership. These measures have been articulated to personnel in a role-appropriate manner, so that they are able to make use of measures to track performance. This often involves skill building as well as a willingness to engage in a culture change that involves data-driven accountability.


Personnel at all levels understand the significance of and buy in to the importance of data as a valuable resource.


This is evident when people at all levels across an organization or department understand the importance of reliable data, and have an understanding of how data fits into the "bigger picture" of success. This is a natural byproduct of a culture that supports data collection and responsible data stewardship.


Creating a data culture is a priority that has buy-in from the top.


This is evident when executive leadership and/or board members identify building a data culture as an organizational priority. This means that leadership is either actively investing in or planning to be able to invest in building organizational capacity in this area. This involves not just investment in systems, but investment in personnel who can fulfill roles such as Data Leader. A first step can be executive leadership investing in improving their own skills in this area so that they can better support the organization.


Which of the following best describes your top priority as a next step?

Please select the choice that best describes your current data-related priority. Your answer to this question will help us prepare to better address your needs during the consultation.  If none of these quite capture your current priority, please choose "None of these" and then use the space below to articulate any priorities that you want us to consider when planning for our meeting.


Do you have any specific data-related concerns or pain points that you want us to be aware of?