The data community is getting new guidelines to approach data effectively and ethically. and industry leaders today are announcing the Manifesto for Data Practices.

According to Brett Hurt, CEO of, data is being used today to fuel business efforts and improve customer satisfaction; however there are no formal guidelines to approach data and data collaboration. The Manifesto for Data Practices aims to help organizations and users maximize their data’s internal value and impact while taking things like privacy and security into account.

“Today, every choice that a company makes about data has the potential to help or harm consumers, communities, and even entire countries,” said Hurt. “The Manifesto for Data Practices is critically important because it defines a new model for improving data practices themselves. It can be used by any organization to foster ethical, productive data teamwork, and we feel privileged to have collaborated with so many industry luminaries to co-authors and release this manifesto.”

The Manifesto for Data Practices is built on four values and 12 principles. The values are inclusion, experimentation, accountability and impact.

According to the manifesto, the principles aim to help data teams:

  1. Use data to improve life for our users, customers, organizations, and communities.
  2. Create reproducible and extensible work.
  3. Build teams with diverse ideas, background and strengths.
  4. Prioritize the continuous collection and availability of discussions and metadata.
  5. Clearly identify the questions and objectives that drive each project and use to guide both planning and refinement.
  6. Be open to changing our methods and conclusions in response to new knowledge.
  7. Recognize and mitigate bias in ourselves and in the data we use.
  8. Present our work in ways that empower others to make better-informed decisions.
  9. Consider carefully the ethical implications of choices we make when using data, and the impacts of our work on individuals and society.
  10. Respect and invite fair criticism while promoting the identification and open discussion of errors, risks, and unintended consequences of our work.
  11. Protect the privacy and security of individuals represented in our data.
  12. Help others to understand the most useful and appropriate applications of data to solve real-world problems.

“We believe these values and principles, taken together, describe the most effective, ethical, and modern approach to data teamwork,” according to the manifesto.

The manifesto is currently signed by more than 1,200 data leaders from government, business and academia.

According to Hurt, while the manifesto doesn’t explicitly touch upon the upcoming General Data Protection Regulation in the EU, it is compatible to it.

In addition, is working to develop exercises that can help organizations successfully visualize the manifesto practices and principles.