How sound is your company’s data management system and why is it important?

Faced with the plethora of regulations in respect of transformation, be it SLPs, Mining Charter Scorecards or Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE), the mining sector, like other industries, continues to battle with the intricacies of planning, management and reporting. Fundamental objectives of transformation in mining are the broad empowerment of previously disadvantaged groups through skills development, procurement opportunities, and the creation of sustainable livelihoods for the host communities. Understanding the mind-set behind the regulatory requirements as well as the requisite outputs to secure compliance requires a unique data system.  Statistics play a pivotal role in nearly all businesses and form the backbone for development of all strategies.

The industry’s informal approach to data management is evident in the crisis management mode evident during Annual and Mining Charter Reporting periods.  With record keeping frequently done in a haphazard fashion. Further, data fields available in ERP systems are not attuned to transformation initiatives or aligned to regulatory reporting requirements. Companies are struggling with external reporting as well as multiple reporting formats to differing task masters. Efforts between head office and operations are often not coordinated nor clearly communicated, often with limited internal management processes and capabilities to deliver accurate results. Continuous amendments to the various legislations; in particular, the recent gazetted Draft EE Regulations, B-BBEE Amendment Bill and the MPRDA Amendment Bill further emphasise the importance of a flexible system able to adapt to constant change to ensure compliance.

In order to effectively navigate the implementation and reporting challenges,  data management must ensure:

1.       Completeness & requisite detail for all Transformation reporting requirements;

2.       Accuracy;

3.       Process of verification;

4.       Comparability of outputs (reports);

5.       Seamless & non-human transfer processes between systems;

6.       Capacitated ‘data owners’ into:

·         Management & transfer;

·         Interpretation;

·         Analysis; and

·         Motivations.

The establishment of a comprehensive data management process or system will streamline legislative reporting requirements. Access to verified information will ease the generation of accurate progress reports (for management and stakeholder sessions) to provide regular feedback on the status of compliance.  With a data management system in place as recommended above, compliance can be managed in conjunction with daily business processes, ameliorating the risk of non-compliance companies are exposed to in a tick box environment where the focus continues to be on the compilation of regulatory reports.

A transformation implementation framework needs to be put in place to assign custodians to manage data with an understanding of the impact accurate data fields have on reporting. In order to ensure the effective implementation of transformation strategies and SLP commitments, there should be close collaboration between decision makers and accountability for regulatory reporting across the different categories of HR, HRD, Procurement and community development.    This will eliminate pressure at year end or as required to generate reports to the various regulatory bodies.

Data integrity does not have to be a headache, if approached correctly, this will assist in enabling more time to implement and less time at your desk!

December 2, 2016 | MTS

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