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Frank Buytendijk

Welcome to my BeyeNETWORK blog, in which I will give you a little bit of a view "behind the scenes" of the articles that I am working on. In these articles and blogs in my channel, I'll be discussing IT matters from a more strategic and philosophical point of view. As the famous joke goes, "How many philosophers does it take to change a light bulb? Only one, but eight others to confer about how Nietzsche would have done it." What better place to confer than on the BeyeNETWORK.

About the author >

Frank's professional background in strategy, performance management and organizational behavior gives him a strong perspective across many domains in business and IT. He is an entertaining speaker at conferences all over the world, and was recently called an “intellectual provocateur” and described as “having an unusual warm tone of voice.” His work is frequently labeled as provocative, deep, truly original, and out of the box. More down to earth, his daughter once described it as “My daddy sits in airplanes, stands on stages, and tells jokes.” Frank is a former Gartner Research VP, and a seasoned IT executive. Frank is also a visiting fellow at Cranfield University School of Management, and author of various books, including Performance Leadership (McGraw-Hill, September 2008), and Dealing with Dilemmas (Wiley & Sons, August 2010). Frank's newest book, Socrates Reloaded, is now available and is highly recommended. Click here for more information on how to get your copy today.

Editor's Note: More articles and a link to his popular blog are available in Frank's BeyeNETWORK Expert Channel. Be sure to visit today!

(Follow me on Twitter: @FrankBuytendijk)

Data governance is still a big issue. Within organizations certainly, but that is actually the easy bit. Data governance in the public sector, affecting the privacy of citizens, is a much bigger issue. The public sector is discovering business intelligence, but is lagging behind in setting the rules for using it. I read about methodological discussions, legal arguments, and -- of course -- the endless capabilities of technologies.

But what about the ethical issues? What is "right" and what is "wrong"?

The next series of articles will discuss the ethics of data governance. In the public sector, and also in commercial enterprise.

In Part 1, I discuss the dangers of not taking care of data governance very well. "Big Brother", gloom and doom indeed.

Unrealistic? Wait until you read Part 2, describing the case of a European police force using bidirectional TomTom data to plan speed traps. Ethical or not?

Part 3 looks at the various options on data ownership, based on the shifting balance between privacy and security.

Part 4 starts with some hints on how to organize data governance, but slightly derails towards the end in tips and tricks on how to cheat the system.

As with all series of articles, the point of view is a philosophical one. John Locke already described the balance between the right on life, liberty and property; and the need for a social contract at the same time. Me? I take more of a communitarian view. I find it scary that we look at authorities to check on all of us, out of fear what others might do to us. When I was 15 years old, my parents let me go to the lake all day with my friends, knowing there would always be grown-ups around. Would I feel comfortable today with my 15-year old going there without mobile phone and so on? I am not sure. Community thinking has moved from real-life to the on-line world. And we should find a way to mix community-thinking between the real world and the on-line world.


Posted October 26, 2011 3:44 AM
Permalink | 1 Comment |

1 Comment

Hi Frank,

Fantastic post. Your point re community thinking really resonates. I think organisations not just public sector but across the board need to find a balance between streamlined and collaborative thinking in order for BI systems to output and store what we need in a governed / strategic way.

Very much looking forward to hearing the next parts on data governance strategies.

Just followed you from my twitter by the way @datalovers


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