The Cool Kids Corner: CLEAR Communication 

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Read more about author Mark Horseman.

Hello! I’m Mark Horseman, and welcome to The Cool Kids Corner. This is my monthly check-in to share with you the people and ideas I encounter as the data evangelist with DATAVERSITY. (Read last month’s column here.) This month, we’re talking about communication. Communication is the cornerstone of socializing anything you do with data, whether that’s starting and maintaining your Data Governance program, or doing any sort of Data Quality initiative. One of my favorite things to say is, “It’s only communication if both the listener and the speaker understand what is being communicated.” So, let’s dive into how important communication is, and ultimately, we’ll see what the cool kids are saying. 

Effective communication is a two-way street. A good communication strategy focuses on understanding the audience along with the message that you need to send. This allows you to build a tailored message that will engage your audience, prevent miscommunication, and build quality relationships with the folks you communicate with. These are also all key aspects when communicating about anything related to data, a topic often seen as dry or boring. Being able to craft engaging communications is a critical skill and very important for the success of any data-related initiative. 

One thing that I’ve had a lot of success with at several organizations is putting together a monthly newsletter. Our team would highlight two active initiatives that the Data Governance team was involved in, and then close out with a joke or a recipe (I like to pretend I’m a foodie in my spare time). When we first started it, we would hear feedback like, “Oh, I just read it for the recipe.” Over time, however, we would get relevant feedback on the endeavors themselves. This built engagement with our Data Governance team, and we continued to grow readership over time. The newsletters became a trusted vehicle to keep folks across the organization informed.   

This is a great segue into this month’s featured Cool Kid, Valerie Bonventre Calvo. Valerie promotes communication by making it CLEAR. 

  • C – Creative 
  • L – Lingo-Free 
  • E – Efficient 
  • A – Applicable 
  • R – Regular  

Enjoy Valerie’s excellent talk on CLEAR Communication below for more practical tips to build engagement and move Data Governance from the “back office” to the “front page” within your organization. 

Remember that you can meet and join Cool Kids like Valerie Bonventre Calvo at DATAVERSITY events (use code COOLKIDS to save 15%): 

Want to become one of the Cool Kids? All you need to do is share your ideas with the community! To be active in the community, come to DATAVERSITY webinars, engage with us on social media, participate in events, and network with like-minded colleagues. 

Next month, we’ll be digging into expanding Data Management and Data Governance teams, with a focus on the importance of hiring a neurodiverse team.