Daniel Cox: Proposing Citizen360 on Data Management and Governance for a Better Client Relationship

Daniel Cox: Proposing Citizen360 on Data Management and Governance for a Better Client Relationship

Daniel Cox is a recognized global authority on Data Governance & Management who drives the vision of Ascention Services to deliver world-class outcomes in Enterprise Performance Management for clients.

Being the CEO of Ascention Services Pty Ltd, Daniel Cox always focuses on three issues— firstly, the outcomes for clients according to the CLEAN Data Experts; secondly, teaching the team of clients about the experience and know-how to take ownership in such collaborative work and thirdly, the ROIs (Return on Investment) and TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) of clients to drive to multiple targets.

Team members continuously evaluate vendor partners, their technologies, and the intellectual property through the ideologies and processes of CLEAN that Ascention creates, maintains, and develops.  Here the CLEAN Data Expert acronym stands for:

C: Caring about the needs and wants of clients that means Data Importance.

L: Language, standards, and governance to help in communication with the reporting regulatory bodies and customers of clients that means Data Governance.

E: Explanation for a better understanding of the stories, outputs, and data that means Data Literacy.

A: Accountability of data programs of clients that means implementing and establishing Data Ownership, Data Stewardship, Data Quality as well as Data.

N: Not alone and always ensure guidance, advice, and strategic leadership with clients to have highly collaborative and pragmatic approaches with valuable data at best standards.

That being said, it can be observed that Ascention primarily focuses on Data Management through the role of the CLEAN Data Expert. Thus, it has developed six principles for the Data Language for a better understanding of clients.

  • Data Importance: Stories/outcomes/decisions need a language
  • Data Governance: Languages need standards
  • Data Literacy: Standards need understanding
  • Data Lineage: Understanding needs ownership
  • Data Stewardship: Ownership needs accountability
  • Data Quality: Accountability needs monitoring

Ascention utilizes several technologies to design solutions for customers by primarily focusing on the outcomes to understand the type of technologies that are required to achieve the best results for the situations of clients. The preferred partners of the company that addresses the needs of the market in data management, data science, and data analytics are TIBCO, Ataccama, InterSystems, and ASG Software.

Ascention is also extremely proud of the offering of Citizen360 in the current scenario. It enables citizens to control, maintain and administer their data and data interactions with state and federal governments. This process allows governments to have centralized access to necessary data to increase services and better programs across all necessary citizens.

Though this company is achieving milestones across the world, the initial path to this successful journey was not easy. The journey of Ascention Services was initiated around Business Intelligence and Data Warehousing. These two fields showed a plethora of work opportunities with shorter sales cycles but the primary challenge was the small margins. Daniel realized that the Australian and New Zealand (ANZ) market could not support a consulting firm like Ascention Services. It was very important to keep an eye out for better ways to receive the right data to the right people at the right time.

Data Warehousing is a time-consuming process with excess duplication of data and manual consulting. The ultimate goal for the company was to provide decision-ready information to decision-makers. Thus, there was a change in the business model to specifically prospect into entities with data issues and transform their data dreams. The transition took almost three years to transform the staffing, their skills as well as the market understanding with longer sales cycles, low volumes of work, and higher margins.

The secondary challenge for Ascention Services was vendor-partner acquisitions and the need to re-evaluate existing partnerships while adding new ones. The company had to update its technologies and capabilities to come up with a solution. This has been an ongoing challenge for the company to come up with the best technologies to support solutions and outcomes for respective clients. The transition has also reshaped the directors and senior leadership teams that often become difficult to align with the direction, mission, and vision for the future.

"Every organization, individuals and technology need to have clean data for outputs and outcomes to be valuable and usable."

On future growth plans, the company's expansion is underway into South East Asia while experiencing immense growth in the AZN markets. ANZ is the solid foundation of the company market segment and South East Asia including Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines act as a major opportunity to prove the company's value in achieving amazing data outcomes for the needed organizations. The industry will continue to see improvements in capabilities, technologies, and speed to markets in the upcoming years. Ascention Services is required to be agile, forward-thinking, and relevant to focus on the aid to clients with their targets and goals. The mission of the company— "Energising Corporate Advantage Through Awareness and Insight" is lived by the staff every day in their work with clients.

An Experienced Leader

Daniel Cox has over 20 years of experience in the data and analytics industry in organizations in the US, the UK, Europe, and ANZ that lead to work closely with clients in the entire APAC region.

Daniel grew up on a large farm while learning many leadership and life lessons from his father, an ex-Army Captain. He was just 12 years when he started managing up to 100 employees in different jobs. He needed to gain sufficient knowledge of his employees such as their jobs and responsibilities so that he could demonstrate some processes, correct them and even fire them.  This learning process provided the ability to sift through tasks and prioritize while keeping the vision and outcome constant.

Daniel's parents taught him entrepreneurship, dreaming, focus and responsibility during his high school days. He has maintained these lessons throughout five distinct careers or phases in his professional life.

The Farm: His parents gave him a 5 acres field to plant, maintain and harvest with full responsibility during his high school. He organized every issue— schedules of laborers, equipment, tree tendering, chemicals, timings, testing, meetings with fieldmen, advisors, and packing plants.

High Risk & Compliance Auditor, Fraud Examiner for The Washington State Auditor's Office: Daniel decided to learn high-risk ad compliance auditing with the WSAO instead of joining one of the "Big 8" accounting firms. He received a wider degree of exposure due to the financial audits for all state and local entities. This position led him to discover his first fraud case and subsequently became the Eastern Washington State Fraud Examiner. This stature provided him with a love for numbers and a sense of grounding as well as humility from listening to the emotional background stories during the investigation of fraud schemes.

Fiscal Manager of Rocky Reach Dam at Chelan Country Public Utility District:  Daniel Cox met various people at CCPUD while working for regular audits at the WSAO. A major opportunity came to expand his career in accounting and corporate finance. He oversaw a US$35 million O&M and a US$750 million CapEx Budget for a US$2 billion worth 50-year old asset. As the Fiscal Manager, he negotiated new 35 year contracts with Seattle and Alcoa as well as floating nearly US$800 million in bonds for new construction projects. He started working with the IT guys on automating data at a rapid pace to take faster decisions. New technology was founded to get faster data daily known as Cognos instead of receiving 12 monthly books of financial and performance statements three to four weeks after the month-end.

Senior Consultant with Cognos:  Daniel attended a Cognos user conference at Disneyland in 1999 with more than 2500 attendees. He was so inspired that he informed the then CEO, Ron Zambonini that he wanted to work for Cognos. He was on his way to Ottawa Canada for his induction at Cognos after a few weeks of meeting with the then CEO. He helped Cognos to expand their Western US business and was asked to visit Australia for further help. Daniel was globally recognized as the Consultant of the Year in 2002. He worked for the company for several years till his clients inspired him to work on his own for further success in life.

Founder and CEO of Ascention Services Pty Ltd.: As discussed above, the company faced multiple challenges to become a successful organization focused on data management consulting. Ascention broke the AU$10 million marks in the financial year 2019 and was ranked #2 in the CRN's Fast50, which is a tremendous accolade.

Daniel Cox explained that every day brings new challenges and his experiences, achievements, and lessons since the Farm have always supported him throughout these distinct work lifecycles. At Ascention, the team is looking forward to greater heights with the expansion in New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Gaum, Vietnam, and the Philippines.

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