Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Data Governance From The Ground Up?

Not really but we can’t sit around forever waiting for the governing roles and responsibilities to be finalized so…

Let me back up a bit. I was the manager of a Data Quality Team. We used creative (aka guerilla) tactics to raise awareness, get buy in, and improve the quality of our customer information. 3 years later I am now a Senior Advisor on the business side, participating in the development of formalized Data Governance. How awesome is that? So what do I mean when I say: “Data Governance from the ground up”? Well due to the fact that Data Governance means a profound change in how we manage our data for both people and processes, lots of discussions and consultations are taking place at the executive level to understand the impacts and begin the process. So in the meantime, a few business stakeholders (yes THEY did it..not me!) have initiated the development of a working group, the goal of which is identify and understand some of the priority data issues that require resolution in order be somewhat organized and prepared for the time when a formal council is established.

The strategy will be to focus on data that is required to support upcoming business objectives, and work together to develop recommendations (and supporting documentation), so that when the formalization occurs, the group is well prepared to begin obtaining approval for and implementing the recommendations. The approach will be to work iteratively starting with the highest priority and pain points, and communicate regularly on the results and successes. The iterative approach will allow the participants and processes to be adjusted and fine tuned as necessary, and will increase the likelihood of buy-in and success.

What happened in Meeting 1?

  • We identified potential stakeholders and agreed that others will be identified as we move forward.
  • We agreed that the scope of the data that we need to focus on will be the basic Company and Contact data: name, address, phone, etc..
  • We agreed upon the initial approach: identify and define company and contact lifecycles, identify and define companies and contacts, identify and define any known risks and issues with companies and contacts.
  • And oh yeah, they made me the chair so I get to facilitate, encourage discussion and communicate results...must be my big mouth :)
I wanted to share this for a couple of reasons: first, it’s another step up in the Data Quality journey and it will be interesting and hopefully beneficial to others to share the ride, and second, I’m hoping if we get stuck on something I’ll write about it and obtain the feedback and opinions of other subject matter experts. So if you have any questions, comments or feedback, it would be most appreciated.


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