Major Public Utility Company:
Establishing Data Governance Foundation & Shared Responsibility Culture

Organization

Our client is a Fortune 500 integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and retail distribution operations in the southern United States. It is headquartered in New Orleans, Louisiana, and generates and distributes electric power to 2.9 million customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas.

Challenge

Our client has well-established systems and applications that are currently supporting their end-to-end business operations, starting with production and energy distribution to customer servicing and billing operations. However, the business and system knowledge is not consistently documented, and employee retirements are causing institutional amnesia of critical production platforms. There is an increasing risk that can destabilize the general upkeep of their existing systems and inhibit their ability to adopt and harness the power of the latest and more modern digital ecosystem. This challenge is compounded by misinterpretation of business terms leading to inconsistencies in data interpretations, destabilizing copies, and versions of data. All of which resulted in poor data quality and impacted the overall confidence in the data used to support reporting requirements across various departments.
The client sought an experienced partner in Data Governance strategies to lay a strong data governance foundation and establish systematic and formal control over their system and data assets. The challenge was to quickly define and implement strategies and frameworks to alleviate brain drain and help define clear ownership and responsibilities for individual applications and data assets. Key objectives included the following:

  • Build and manage a comprehensive set of approved business glossary and terms
  • Capture and manage metadata to fully describe the organization’s system and data assets
  • Establish necessary Data Governance validation mechanisms that standardize, integrate, protect, and help establish a trusted enterprise data lake

Solution

XTIVIA partnered with the new Data Governance Office Team to rapidly build an Agile Data governance operating model involving standard processes, tools, and expectations for their new Customer Data Lake governance. XTIVIA established a collaborative process involving stakeholders from various business units participating in creating a harmonized understanding of enterprise business glossary and system-level data definitions and standards.

The team took a “bottoms-up” approach to designing, populating, and managing the metadata repository to describe the organization’s data assets. The program started with a manageable application-specific prototype project, using an Agile delivery model and then expanded data governance across other projects within the company based on lessons learned. As the program grew, it established necessary checks and balances with clearly defined accountabilities between business and technology teams. The program also helped bridge the gap between information creators/collectors, data managers, users, and team members who uphold standards and compliance requirements. As the Agile projects were completed, they created detailed and trusted documentation of its systems, applications, and data, thereby making the organization’s knowledge base an asset of its business and metadata definitions.

  • XTIVIA worked with Business stakeholders to define who within an organization has authority and control over the data assets, who is accountable for stewardship activities, and how those data assets can be searched by enterprise-wide users to get the right level of access to the required data.
  • Established Business Glossary and Metadata management practices to assist stakeholders in developing and maintaining a shared understanding and shared meaning for all approved business terms and system-specific metadata definitions.
  • Democratized availability of Enterprise-level Business, System, and Data knowledge assets using Industry-leading tools.
  • Data Governance validation was applied to all data hydrating the Customer Data Lake to create a trusted data repository that boosted confidence in data used for business and compliance reporting.
  • Created DG KPI Dashboard and set cadence to measure data quality regularly using automated procedures.
  • Created necessary training material and conducted regular brown bag sessions for communicating and extending the adoption of available DGO tools and assets across the organization. This helped Data Owners and Data Stewards take control and ownership of established practices and knowledge assets.

BUSINESS RESULT

XTIVIA’s customer realized many benefits as a result of this project, including:

  • The client established a DGO within a month and kicked off Data Owners and Stewards with an industry-leading tool and company-specific methodology. The organization quickly found a culture of shared responsibility for the data assets.
  • Created a thorough and detailed knowledge base with increased user confidence in the documented business, system, and data assets.
  • The Agile operating model involved collecting, categorizing, maintaining, integrating, controlling, managing, and delivering metadata and business glossary definitions and improved data quality in a continuous and scalable manner.
  • The customer had an empowered organization and processes in DGO to resolve any data and business process inconsistencies across the Enterprise.
  • Increased access to needed data for data scientists, other analysts, and business users while ensuring privacy, confidentiality, and appropriate access and rules for data use
  • The program reduced data management costs by providing central control mechanisms for data access via the Enterprise Data Lake.

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