Enterprise Data Governance has been an emerging trend over the last several years, starting in the more heavily regulated industries (i.e., financial services, health care, etc.) evaluated across a broader set of industries.   One of the key themes was analogous to planning a journey; in order to accurately plot your journey you must first understand your starting point.  Here are some key takeaways…

Establishing a Baseline: Where does your organization fit on the data governance maturity model?  The key criterion for assessing information maturity is being able to measure it.  Using a pre – defined maturity model to objectively assess your current and desired information maturity levels, you can more accurately develop a program for improving your data governance.

Setting Goals: Measuring your current maturity level is one thing. But to set your goal, you need to understand what’s attainable – it’s far more than you imagine.  Many institutions completely underestimate the capabilities that a good governance program can put at their fingertips.  The input has helped identify processes and functions that can be executed faster and more accurately through proper data governance.  We’ve also seen firsthand what happens if this step is omitted from the process. Before you embark on a data governance program, let us show some of the surprising ways we’ve helped other clients.

Involving Stakeholders: One of the most common reasons for the failure of a data governance program is a lack of continued business support. This is because the implementation of a data governance program is often a response to a recent, negative business event – losing a key account, addressing a regulatory matter, or unexpectedly missing a financial target. It addresses the immediate problem, but then it’s often left to dwindle on the vine.  Successful data governance programs have three things in common:

  • Executive Owner – This individual can quantify and articulate the real world, day-to-day business value that governance can provide to the organization.
  • Business Stakeholders – This is a core group responsible for assessing, planning and executing the data governance strategy.
  • IT Stakeholders – Data governance does not replace the systems that generate, store and report critical business information. Instead, it should facilitate tight coordination between business and IT.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of things to address as part of implementing an enterprise data governance program – far from it. Instead, it simply highlights some of the intangibles that are often overlooked by organizations.  These Intangibles can have a significant impact on the overall success of the program.

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