The Missing Ingredient in Data Governance Programs

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Missing Ingredients in Data Governance

One of the most influential factors of successful data governance programs regardless of shape, size and maturity is the ability to connect individual pockets of knowledge across the organization to build a greater sum of team discipline. More simply put, success comes down to how well we can assimilate our strengths as a team through collaboration and communication rather than operate as a collection of skilled individuals.

Historically, data teams might have one (or several) subject-matter experts who can discourse at great length about various process steps, business rules, data standard or key metrics worth knowing. The approach of, “I don’t have to know the data …I just have to know where to find Bob” can certainly find reasonable success. However, the upside of this approach is limited with the downside being far more significant.

The Missing Ingredient

Savvier data programs have started to implement collaborative platforms that enable data governance teams to pull organizational pockets of knowledge out of the dark corners and into the daylight. These platforms become the “mission control center” where cross-functional teams can develop an EIM strategy using real-time data, gain critical insights into how data impacts business performance, and operationalize data governance and MDM tools for automation. This “mission control center” is often the most valuable, but most overlooked, foundational piece when building data programs.

It is difficult to overstate the benefits of a centralized data governance platform. Some of the most valuable benefits include:

  • Alleviation of frustrating miscommunication cycles that force teams into destructive “one step forward, but a half-step back” patterns
  • Acceleration of the sharing of knowledge across the Enterprise - spanning business segments, regions, and strategic or operational stakeholders alike.
  • Accessibility across business, data, and IT teams therefore enforcing a culture where data is everyone’s responsibility (as opposed to solely personnel in dedicated data roles such as stewards and custodians)
  • Business teams have access to the business rules and data standards that support their processes and can constantly provide input based on the changing strategy and demands of the business.
  • When deploying or upgrading EIM solutions, the platform can be easily leveraged to develop functional requirements and specifications by those who will reap the most benefit from the tool once it goes live.
  • A central point of reference for the subject-matter experts of the organization to upload lessons learned, accelerators and other knowledge base materials that can be shared and used by other team members in similar future projects.
  • Most importantly, a central methodology or ‘recipe’ that all master data chefs can reference within their respective verticals.

The assimilation of cross-functional knowledge and a low-friction communication environment create a demand for a fit-for-purpose data governance solution platform. There are an increasing number of collaborative platform solutions that claim to address many of these challenges. In our next blog in this series we’ll tackle the pros and cons of SharePoint, a popular offering that is commonly adopted in an attempt to fill the platform solution gap for data governance teams.

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