Organizations are trying to “organize” the flood of data in their ecosystems when they should be voracious consumers of information and demanding a ubiquitous flow of data. Companies who can capitalize on the untapped potential of pervasive data are disruptors in their market’s Digital Transformations. Otherwise, you will likely be playing defense; but that’s for another blog.
There are three prerequisites for a successful Data Transformation needed for Digital Transformations: Data Strategy, Data Management, and Data Governance. This post is to help articulate several reasons why your company needs to undergo a Governance transformation.
Most notably, when business leadership has lost trust in their data you must address Governance.
This doesn’t mean they’re reverting back to 3×5 index cards. It does mean there are ambiguities between teams, departments, and trading parties. Decision making becomes lethargic. Strategic unity gets lost in tribal debates. Tragically, the casualties are new services not quickly identified or new solutions not piloted within the business strategy. These are highly visible impediments that executive leadership will expect to be remedied. Boldly, Data Owners need to advocate the “What, Who, Why’s” of Governance to gain the support and momentum to solve the Data Trust impediment at its source.
The following question framework is a simple “checklist” to help organize your thoughts and gain a better perspective of your DG recommendations and sponsorship for your organization.
What Will Data Governance Accomplish?
Plan to be challenged immediately by Senior Leadership on “What” do you seek to accomplish with a Data Governance? These questions are the basis for your Business Case.
- What Data Challenges do we expect Data Governance to address in the first quarter and the first year?
- Which business unit has the most to gain in solving these challenges? What would their SVP say would be their measurable benefit?
- What would be the benefit of central reference lookup for business terms, the underlying sources of that data and sanctioned access to that data stream for departmental usage.
- What would be the benefits of reliably projecting prospect and customer trends, interactions with trading partners as well as supply chains and vendors?
Why Pursue a Data Governance Initiative?
In championing a DG initiative, knowing these answers solidify your vision. Here are some other concerns that follow from asking “why?”
- How does this support Business/Technology transformations?
- Are we doing this to provide consistency across all business units?
- Are we doing this to improve Data Quality and help in more effective decisions?
- Are we doing this to improve or measure compliance?
Who Leads the Data Governance Initiative?
Who is the sponsor/champion for the DG initiative? Who are the significant players affected by the DG initiative? The expansive reach of DG touches various areas of your business, if not all of them, and your entire team needs to be on board. That means identifying the sponsor(s), committees, councils, and users who will help steer the initiative toward success. Your business needs to ensure the following:
- Which Business Executive is most impacted by “low-trust” data and is willing to state their need for better data, better understanding, and better results?
- Which Business users would “step-up” to be Data Owners and take responsibilities of the Steering Committees and the decision bodies (Councils).
- Who are the “Go-To People” in the business that are understood to be Subject Matter Experts (SMEs)? Will their management allocate them to become Stewards of the domain?
- Where do departments or the organization publish their Business Glossary and how much of an impediment is the “common business language” impacting Executive Trust?
How Do We Execute a Data Governance Initiative?
How is the action plan of gaining alignment with “What,” justification with “Why,” and sponsorship with “Who?” These questions will ultimately lead you to ask your DG partner what the plan looks like after you’ve answered these questions. The initiative will gain momentum once your team elaborates on the following information.
- Baseline the awareness and maturity of DG, Business Glossary, and Data Quality.
- Create a strategy/roadmap to establish and execute a DG to align with the “why.”
- Put in place a process to continuously measure the progress and report it to the decision-making body.
- Empower the DG decision-making body, Steering Committees, and the Data Owners/Stewards to be the approvers of the To-Be state.
Before jumping in, you need a collective vision, well-organized recommendations, and sponsors committed to improving business functions and maximizing success. By answering the “What”, “Why”, “Who” questions, assessing the outcome, and mapping out the results, your team will be prepared to begin a DG transformation with your “How”.
If your organization is ready to take the next step toward real data ownership, please reach out to us here or engage with us via the comment section below. We’ll help you every step of the way and align your DG initiative for success.