The 4 Maturity Levels of Data Management for Stakeholder Engagement Activities

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For over 15 years, Borealis has been working with clients all over the world. Our community of stakeholder engagement professionals is composed of over 4000 users, consultants, thought leaders, and academics.

While each industry has its own specificities, we’ve noticed that when it comes to handling stakeholder engagement activities, industry doesn’t matter that much.

Benchmarking your organization’s stakeholder data management processes

We have developed a simple diagnostic tool that allows stakeholder engagement professionals to benchmark their organization’s  stakeholder data management processes: The 4 Maturity Levels of Data Management.


checklist 4 levels of maturity for stakeholder data management

4 levels of maturity for stakeholder data management

First, you must identify your starting point. Are you even keeping track of your social and environmental performance activities? Are there processes in place to help you see the big picture? Or are you starting from scratch?

Only then can you create a plan to improve your stakeholder data management.

Get in touch with a Borealis stakeholder engagement expert to learn how to improve your organization’s stakeholder data management processes.

Level 1 – Ground Level: No digital trail

Organizations at this level are working with little to no paper trail, and no digital records. Strategic information is stored in people’s heads. There is no institutional memory; as staff members come and go, so does important information. There is no way to trace what was said, or what agreements were reached during public consultations or meetings.

Level 2 – Ad Hoc Level: Focus on data collection

Organizations at Level 2 are collecting data, but the information is not centralized or easily accessible. It exists in different formats (Excel, Word, Access, SharePoint, emails, text messages, photos, PDFs, notebooks, and more). Managing this information is usually an uncoordinated effort led by one or two departments.

Level 3 – Operational Level: Reporting with lagging indicators; operation and project-focused

At this level, there is a defined approach with some business processes to provide guidance. Trailing performance indicators allow teams to  monitor activities and provide a general overview of the situation. Some sites might use one system, while others may use something else; there is often a disconnect in reporting from site to site. The focus of stakeholder data management is on historical data and regulatory compliance.

Download the Enmax case study - Harnessing the power of data

Learn how ENMAX is putting people back at the heart of the stakeholder engagement process with Borealis

Level 4 – Strategic level: Strategic management and performance

Organizations at Level 4 often rely on a corporate-driven system that may consider individual site specificities. Management regularly consults the stakeholder data to assist with strategic decision-making. The company has defined leading social performance indicators. Stakeholder engagement plans are no longer static documents.

Establishing trusting relationships with stakeholders to meet long-term goals


Remember, corporations who want to be successful in the long run must consider the impact they have on stakeholders.

It is the role of the stakeholder engagement teams to find ways to identify their organization’s key supporters and detractors.

As the teams engage with stakeholders, expectations and attitudes will change. It is important to know how your organization is positioned in the minds of its stakeholders, and how well their views align with your mission, values, and objectives.

Over the years, members of our community of practice have seen many different corporate responses to this challenge. Some had positive outcomes, while others fell short.

Borealis for strategic stakeholder engagement

All of our customers, like an ever-growing number of companies in different industries, have similar objectives. They want to make sure their projects are socially accepted, and they strive to create genuine shared value. In that context, the information collected by stakeholder engagement teams has strategic value, but only if it’s available to decision makers at the right time.

At Borealis, we help organizations achieve better outcomes and secure project approval by building trusted stakeholder relationships. Our software allows users to quickly retrieve data as needed, manage social risks to limit their impact, and focus on their business operations.

Contact us today to learn how our tools can help support your operations.

The Four Levels of Stakeholder Data Management: an almost-real-life story of a stakeholder engagement team leader. We hope you enjoy!

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