Whitehall launches new data maturity tool

Government departments will be expected to self-assess their data maturity over the next twelve months, using a new framework published by the Central Digital & Data Office (CDDO). 

The Data Maturity Assessment (DMA) for Government is a self-assessment tool that enables organisations to measure and understand their ability to use data to achieve core business objectives.

It looks at 97 specific areas organised around ten topics, including engaging with others, knowing the data you have, and managing and using data ethically. These are intersected with six themes: uses, data, leadership, culture, tools and skills. For each area, organisations assess where they fit on a five-level maturity level.

It is worth noting that this is a self-assessment framework, meaning it can provide a wide or narrow view of an organisation’s data maturity. Furthermore, it does not generate a single ‘score’ so organisations can find they are mature in some areas and less so in others - with possible patterns related to the topics and themes. 

The DMA for Government has been developed by the Data Quality Hub at the Office for National Statistics over the last two years, based on a framework for use in the third sector by social enterprise Data Orchard. 

The CDDO is expecting all departments to use the model to capture data maturity insights that can be put into action within the next twelve months. 

By using the same maturity assessment model, the public sector can begin to build shared language, metrics and goals for measuring data. 

“Data maturity - our capability, effectiveness and readiness to use data fully - is fundamental to delivering better public services and delivering policy with greater precision and impact,” said CDDO chief executive Megan Lee Devlin in a foreword.

“Permanent Secretaries, Chief Digital and Information Officers and Chief Data Officers across government have endorsed this important tool and committed to using it in a core part of their organisation within the first year. The assessment will enable business leaders and data teams to uncover actionable insights that will help target resources on the most crucial data initiatives.”

Sue Bateman, Chief Data Officer at the Central Digital and Data Office said the DMA for Government is a "robust and comprehensive framework" that represents a "big step forward in our shared ambition to establish and strengthen the data foundations in government by enabling a granular view of the current status of our data environments."



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