The road to true data standardisation is littered with failed projects that have taken much time, effort and money and yet delivered very little lasting value. Although the case for standardisation is often compelling, standardisation projects fail for a myriad of reasons.

Development of a data structure that meets the needs of many users requires extensive engagement and a deep understanding of the domain to be modelled and the ways in which domain data will be used. The development of data standards needs to focus on the widespread and consistent implementation of specifications.

I have worked with many standards initiatives over the years; some have been successful and others have not. Having been one of the original JACS development team in the 1990s I led the development of the HECoS subject coding system that is now being adopted across the HE sector.

If you would like to discuss the development and adoption of standard data definitions, please get in touch.

Further reading: Why are data standards so hard?