2. Tips and tricks for an effective Data Governance
Now that you know what Data Governance entails, one more question is probably on your mind: what makes a Data Governance program succeed or fail?
Before we explore some tips and tricks, it is important to understand that Data Governance is not a one-shot effort or program, and is definitely not achieved in one corner of an organization, be it IT or business. It is first and foremost a continuous effort of refinement and improvement, driven by a partnership and collaboration between all departments.
Tip #1 Drive the scope
The Data Governance program must have a clear scope and clear objectives and, as we have seen before, these must be aligned with the organization’s business goals and priorities. It is important to define what Data Governance means to the organization, and how it will help it achieve its global goals. This scope and these objectives must be evaluated on a regular basis to verify whether they are still relevant to the organization at any strategic point in time.
Tip #2 Make the change
Data Governance is about people & organization more than anything else. Many such programs have failed because they were not paying enough attention to them.
A successful Data Governance should be accompanied by the appropriate change management and Data Literacy program, where:
- People should clearly understand what is in it for them and how this is impacting their jobs,
- Each stakeholder should understand what is needed from her/him during the data lifecycle, and
- Everyone in the organization understands the data lifecycle, and how is it transformed through the business process she/he is working on.
Tip #3 Connect teams around data
The people and the underlying organization need to be connected, have common data objectives, and speak the same data language. The glue between all these is the metadata and the data catalogs in which this metadata is stored and managed.
Having this single metadata management system within the organization, where all the stakeholders can create and share definitions, knowledge, and understanding of the data will facilitate the integration and leveraging of data assets across the different departments, processes, and applications.
Tip #4 Better data
Is Data Quality part of Data Governance or not? This is the eternal debate… Whatever the answer is, a solid Data Governance program must consider putting in place a strong framework to implement monitor and remediate Data Quality checks regularly. These checks must be made available to all stakeholders to optimize the transparency of the data the organization uses, thereby increasing its trustworthiness.
Tip #5 Measure and sustain
This is the last but probably the most important tip. Remember, Data Governance is a continuous effort of refinement and improvement. To achieve this, the organization must:
- Define from the beginning clear KPI’s and baselines that are aligned with program objectives,
- Evaluate on regular basis, via different audits (compliance, security, quality, etc.), how much the program is on track with regards to these baselines, and
- Make the necessary adjustments when required.