What is your data governance strategy?
Gautam Mane, December 11, 2018
Once you are ready to implement data governance, don’t jump right in. Devise a workable strategy first, which is what this article talks about.
We keep hearing about the importance of data governance for any organization. The distinction between new age and traditional companies has now almost broken down, and data is used by every company, whether big or small.
The issue today is no longer about gathering data, but ensuring that it is usable and clean, and using it productively to meet the organization’s objectives. This requires a good data governance strategy to be put in place. Let us look at the elements and requirements of a good data governance framework.
Data quality and data management might be the responsibility of the IT department in an organization. But the usage of data impacts every employee of the organization. When a data governance strategy is being put in place, it is important to have all stakeholders on board – employees, users, management, and if required in some cases, even vendors and business partners. This will enable them to understand all that is expected of them. Only complete participation from all stakeholders will make the data governance successful.
As far as senior executives are concerned, only their buy-in and support might not be enough. They need to also put their money where their mouth is. Data governance requires a substantial expenditure to ensure high quality, standardization, and security of the data being produced, collected, and used by the organization. The organization must be willing to put up the money required for this. That is, an important part of a data governance strategy is to ensure that there are adequate funds available. Otherwise it might turn out to be half baked.
While organization-wide acceptance is important, everybody can’t be expected to put in the same kind of efforts for data governance. That is why a small core team is required who would drive the data governance efforts, and own it. This team need not necessarily be only from the IT team. In fact it is better if the core team is cross functional. This core team would drive the planning, strategizing, documentation and overall implementation of the strategy. It is important to set up this team at the outset, but as the strategy continues to get implemented, it might be necessary to modify the composition of the team.
When a data governance strategy is being implemented, it can often lead to a disruption in the way things have been done in an organization. This would lead to grumblings or even outright refusal to change. That is why a good data governance strategy should plan for small changes to begin with, instead of planning for a radical overhaul in one go. As people get used to certain changes, further improvements can be introduced.