No one needs to tell you that data and information are a big part of your life. From the personal data you meticulously manage; to the data you have about your business: customers, products, suppliers, services you provide; to the data you protect, analyze and report personally or through your business; to the proper, moral and legal responsibility you have to your organization for the formal accountability of every person in your organization to appropriately manage that data. These things define “Data Governance”.
Publisher’s note: From time-to-time, TDAN.com republishes past content that is still relevant today. A similar version of this post originally appeared under a different name in June of 2014. The book can be found at http://amzn.to/2qO91PE and the online series of classes at http://bit.ly/2ekkhzB.
Data can 1) be of great value to the organization or 2) data can be the one thing that stands in the way of the viability and ability of your organization to best serve its customers or stay one step ahead of its competitors.
|With Non-Invasive Data Governance™:||With other approaches to
|Data Governance is communicated as something that is already taking place albeit in an informal, inefficient, and often ineffective manner. Non-Invasive Data Governance focuses on formalizing existing levels of accountability, addressing lapses in formal accountability and typically costs the time that is put into the effort.||Data Governance is communicated as being expensive, complex, time consuming and over-and-above the existing work culture of the organization.|
|Non-Invasive Data Governance is viewed as being designed to fit the culture of the organization and to take advantage of exiting levels of governance as to not be viewed as encroachment.||Data Governance is viewed as a discipline that will add unnecessary rigor and bureaucracy to business processes thus slowing delivery cycles and making data more difficult to access and use.|
|Non-Invasive Data Governance expectations are set by assisting business areas to recognize and articulate what they cannot do because the data of the organization will not support those activities.||Data Governance expectations are set by the team of individuals responsible for the design and implementation of the data governance program.|
|Individuals are identified and recognized into roles associated with their existing relationship to the data – as data definers, producers, users, subject matter experts and decision makers, as a way of stressing their importance and impact on data across the organization.||Individuals are assigned new roles as part of their involvement in the data governance program.|
|Individuals’ job titles do not change and there is acknowledgement that the vast majority of their responsibilities will not change.||Individuals are given the title of Data Steward and their job responsibilities are adjusted accordingly.|
|More than one data steward (formally accountable person) is associated with each type of data. The organization recognizes that there are numerous people with this association to data (i.e. multiple users of particular data that all must be held formally accountable for how they use the data).||Individuals are assigned as THE data steward for specific subject areas of data (i.e. a customer data steward, a product data steward, finance data steward).|
|Organizations apply Non-Invasive Data Governance principles to existing work flows and processes by formalizing discipline, accountability and involvement to these processes.||Organizations refer to processes as “Data Governance processes” giving the impression that the processes are being carried out because of or as a result of the Data Governance program.|
|Non-Invasive Data Governance can be managed out of a business unit or Information Technology unit as both the business areas and IT hold specific knowledge and formal accountability relative to governing data as a valued enterprise effort.||Data Governance must reside in a business unit and be directed as a business effort with limited involvement from Information Technology.|
Non-Invasive Data Governance can be summed up in a few quick statements:
- With Non-Invasive Data Governance – Data steward responsibilities are identified and recognized, formalized and engaged according to their existing responsibility rather than being assigned or handed to people as more work. Everybody is a steward.
- With Non-Invasive Data Governance – The governance of data is applied to existing policies, standard operating procedures, practices, and methodologies … rather than being introduced or emphasized as new processes or methods.
- With Non-Invasive Data Governance – The governance of data augments and supports all data integration, privacy, risk management, business intelligence and master data management activities rather than imposing inconsistent rigor to these initiatives.
- With Non-Invasive Data Governance – Specific attention is paid to assuring senior management’s understanding of a practical and non-threatening yet effective approach to governing data that will be taken to mediate ownership and promote stewarding of data as a cross-organization asset, rather than the traditional method of “you will do this”.
- With Non-Invasive Data Governance – Best practices and key concepts of the non-threatening approach are communicated effectively, compared to existing practices to identify and leverage strengths and enable the ability to address opportunities to improve.
Data Governance, by the mere inclusion of the term “governance,” requires the administration of something. In this case, Data Governance refers to the administering of discipline around the management of data. Rather than making the discipline appear threatening and difficult, my suggestion is to follow a Non-Invasive Data Governance™ approach that focuses on formalizing what already exists and addressing opportunities to improve.