Saturday, March 17, 2012

15 ways to say Sustainability Report Data Management

How do you define "data" in the context of Sustainability Reporting?  Here are 15 synonyms for Sustainability Report Data Management:

  1. Headache
  2. Migraine
  3. Marathon
  4. Boring
  5. Painful
  6. Tiresome
  7. Impossible
  8. Geez
  9. Never
  10. Endless
  11. Struggle
  12. Mismatch
  13. Error
  14. Exasperation
  15. Depression
Get the picture? No-one, but no-one, has an easy time getting the data together for a Sustainability Report.

Arguably, the single most-underestimated challenge in writing Sustainability Reports is compiling  the quantitative data  and presenting it in a way which is transparent, clear, logical and understandable by a range of stakeholders. Reporting companies face many questions as they go through the reporting cycle:
  • What quantitative data to include?
  • What processes are used to collect the data?
  • What's the cut-off point and how do you ensure that all data is aligned with that?
  • How do you start to measure what is not already measured?
  • Who should be responsible for the data collection?
  • Is Excel good enough or do we need an IT platform?
  • How do you select data-providers?
  • Should it be cloud-based or server-based?
  • How do we verify the data internally?
  • Who signs off on all the numbers?
  • Do we cover all global operations or only the big locations?
  • What about assurance? Is it worth it? How to go about it?
  • Who is really going to use our data? What to they really want?
  • Where are the bottlenecks and how to manage them?
  • What exactly is the CSR Data Management Lifecycle?
The GRI has recently announced that sustainability data will be much easier to find with the new XBRL Taxonomy. The GRI calls this "a major step forward in making sustainability data available to society."  This is done through the use of software which tags data contained in Sustainability Reports for efficient retrieval. But, before you can tag it, you gotta catch it, right? If you don't do a good job of collecting and collating the data, even gold-plated taxonomy won't help.

Enter the CSR Data Management Conference. All about "Strategies For Successful CSR Data Lifecycle Management".  April 19th. London. One unique day dedicated to Data Management for improving sustainability performance and generating Sustainability Reports. Promises to provide answers.
Brings speakers from reporting companies and data-services vendors who can shed light on the entire process of getting the right data to the right place at the right time for your Sustainability Reporting process and presenting it in a meaningful way.

After the conference, you may be talking about Data Management in a different way. Just in case, here are 15 alternative synonyms for Sustainability Report Data Management: 

  1. Easy-peasy
  2. Piece of Cake
  3. No-brainer
  4. Professional
  5. Self-sustaining
  6. Elementary
  7. Painless
  8. Accurate
  9. Timely
  10. Smart
  11. Straightforward
  12. Pushover
  13. Efficient
  14. Systematic
  15. Ice-cream
I will be speaking at the conference. I always have a lot to say when it comes to Sustainability Reporting. You might have noticed.

See you there ?

PS: Quote "SPK" when registering for the conference to receive a 20% discount

PPS: To round off the day, starting at 6:00pm, one of my favorite annual events: The annual CR Reporting Awards Gala Evening, announcing the results of the fifth annual CR Reporting Awards (CRRA) and presenting trophies to the winners of all the reporting categories. Watch this space for news of the winners! See 2011 winners here and 2010 winners here.


elaine cohen, CSR consultant, Sustainability Reporter, HR Professional, Ice Cream Addict. Author of CSR for HR: A necessary partnership for advancing responsible business practices  Contact me via   on Twitter or via my business website  (Beyond Business, an inspired CSR consulting and Sustainability Reporting firm)

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