Data Governance Value Statements

What is a “Value Statement”?

The term “Value Statement,” when used in the business world, can be defined as brief verbiage that demonstrates a cause-and-effect relationship between a business action and the
business value gained by that action. 

Anybody that has been a consultant or an employee at some point in their life, or anybody who has tried to convince anybody to do something, has used a Value Statement to demonstrate the worthiness
of some type of endeavor.

In the information technology (IT) areas of a business or organization, Value Statements are used to convince Senior Management that they should utilize a new type of technology, that they should
put money toward a new packaged system and eliminate redundant systems, that they should develop or enhance a business intelligence or data warehousing initiative, and for other situations to which
we all can relate (and that require some level of funding).  Value Statements have now become a major contributor to convincing senior  management of companies and organizations that they
should pursue the design and deployment of Data Governance (specifically Non-Invasive Data Governance) initiatives.

A “Non-Invasive Data Governance”™ Value Statement can be defined as cause -and-effect relationship between formalizing existing levels of governance and putting a non-threatening
program in place to govern data and the business value that will be gained by governing data in that manner.

For years I have used a set of value statements to demonstrate the value of “Non-Invasive Data Governance”™ programs to clients as well as to audiences at many user group meetings
and data management conferences. I am going to share these statements with you at the end of this article.

What is Meant by “Non-Invasive Data Governance”?

For those of you who are not familiar with the “Non-Invasive Data Governance”™ approach that I have been known to advocate, please visit the article “What is ‘Non-Invasive Data Governance’™?” that I previously published on the pages of To summarize,
“Non-Invasive Data Governance”™ is:

  • The practice of applying formal accountability through roles and responsibilities, to existing and / or new responsibilities and processes, to assure that the definition, production and usage
    of data, assures regulatory compliance, security, privacy, protection and quality.

  • Non-Invasive describes how governance is applied to assure non-threatening management of valuable data assets.

  • The goal is to be transparent, supportive, and collaborative.

Value Statement Formulas

The formula that I use for “Non-Invasive Data Governance”™ Value Statements is very brief and to the point.  The format that I use focuses on simply cause and effect.

  • Organizations that do (X),

  • Demonstrate* business value improvements through (Y).          * or some other verb

Where (X) are clearly defined actions and (Y) are the business improvements that come from the actions.

My good friend and former colleague Gwen Thomas, of The Data Governance Institute, has developed her own tool of value statements that
she uses to bring the data governance message into focus and to engage stakeholders.  Gwen’s formula for the value statement is similar in some regards to the value statement formula
that I have used for years but goes into deeper detail (with more components) while emphasizing both the positive and negative aspects of governing data.  Gwen’s formula is:

  • If we do (A), then we can expect (B), which would/should result in (C).

  • If we don’t we can expect (D), which would/should result in (E).

Where (A) = a clearly defined action, (B) & (D) are facts, and (C) & (E) can be opinions or conclusions.

There is a reason why I like to keep my formula for Value Statements short and sweet.  In keeping with the “Non-Invasive Data Governance” approach that I write
about and share with my clients, the idea of a longer or more complex Value Statement offers the impression that there are many components to the value that comes from data governance, and that
deriving value from a data governance program is, perhaps, more complex than it needs to be.  To lesser the appearance of complexity, I prefer to keep my value statements to two parts.

The point of this article is not to convince you to use my formula or Gwen Thomas’ for Value Statements for data governance.  The point of the article is to demonstrate that, given a
simple tool such as a Value Statement with a consistent formula for consistency in reading and understanding, it is simple to articulate the value of a “Non-Invasive Data
Governance” Program to Senior Management or anybody in the organization that can influence change.

Business Value Statements

Here is a list of eight (8) sample “Non-Invasive Data Governance”™ Business Value Statements that I have used in recent presentations.  The (X)
of my Value Statement formula is demonstrated in red, while the (Y) component of my formula will be found in

Business Value Statements for Non-Invasive Data Governance™:

  • Organizations that have Senior Managers and Business Unit Leaders that understand, support, and offer direction for a “Non-Invasive Data
    Governance” approach and programs,
    assure themselves of less risk and better general staff acceptance around the management of data for
    the short and long-term success of the program.
  • Organizations that identify record and make available information about the people that define, produce and use specific core and corporate critical data,
    demonstrate efficient and effective coordination, cooperation and communications around this data.

  • Organizations that document information about highly valued core and corporate critical data elements, demonstrate improved
    understanding and business use of this data.

  • Organizations that improve their ability to share information about data, demonstrate better ability to respond to changes in
    regulatory and audit requirements.
  • Organizations that makes certain that the appropriate people are involved in specific tasks related to data management tasks, demonstrate the ability to eliminate replication of data, misuse of data, and improve their ability to integrate data based on corporate critical data element
  • Organizations that define and follow set processes and standard operating procedures for governing data (including requesting, sharing, defining, producing and using
    demonstrate the ability to assure that data will be shared according to data classification requirements (private, public and sensitive

  • Organizations that build and formalize data governance responsibilities into daily routine and methodology, quickly view data
    governance processes as being non-threatening and habitual rather than over and above the existing work effort.

  • Organizations that build, communicate effectively and enforce stricter data management policies, assure themselves lower levels of
    enterprise risk when it comes to data management and data compliance assessments.

The Bottom Line

In the spirit of the value statements discussed in this article, I share with you a quick bottom-line conclusion to the use of value statements to demonstrate how a “Non-Invasive Data
Governance” program will benefit your organization.

  • Organizations that are implementing “Non-Invasive Data Governance”™ Programs typically look for return on
    investment and bottom line impact from several areas:
    efficiency and effectiveness of data issue resolution, compliance and auditable demonstration, enterprise risk management,
    management and employee decision-making empowerment … rather than in dollars and cents. 

Do you have a way that you define the business value of data governance at your organization?  Are you interested in sharing those Value Statements with the readers?  Feel free
to send me your Value Statement formula or your specific Value Statements.  If quantity and quality warrant, I will publish these examples in a future article.

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Robert S. Seiner

Robert S. Seiner

Robert (Bob) S. Seiner is the President and Principal of KIK Consulting & Educational Services and the Publisher of The Data Administration Newsletter ( Seiner is a thought-leader in the fields of data governance and metadata management. KIK (which stands for “knowledge is king”) offers consulting, mentoring and educational services focused on Non-Invasive Data Governance, data stewardship, data management and metadata management solutions. Seiner is the author of the industry’s top selling book on data governance – Non-Invasive Data Governance: The Path of Least Resistance and Greatest Success (Technics Publications 2014) and has hosted the popular monthly webinar series on data governance called Real-World Data Governance (w Dataversity) since 2012. Seiner recently accepted the position of an Adjunct Instructor for the Carnegie Mellon University Heinz College CDataO post-graduate program. KIK Consulting is celebrating its 20th year in business while has been actively published for close to 25 years.

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