NIDG Perspective: A Trusted Trainer for Data

This column is a stand-in for a new column that will be announced for the 3rd month each quarter starting next cycle. I am pleased to fill in essays like this from time-to-time that provide additional perspective to the Non-Invasive Data Governance approach.

In the discipline of data management, adopting the non-invasive approach to data governance can be compared to having an experienced and trusted athletic trainer for the data of your organization. Just as an athletic trainer plays a crucial role in supporting athletes, optimizing their performance, and minimizing the risk of injuries, the people that play a key role in your non-invasive data governance program focus on enhancing data management practices without disrupting the organization’s operations. This essay explores the parallels between following non-invasive data governance and having an “athletic” trainer for your organization’s data, highlighting the benefits and importance of this approach to governing your organization’s data landscape.

Athletic trainers are notorious for building trust and fostering collaboration among athletes, coaches, and the supporting staff. The non-invasive data governance approach, and the person or people responsible for your data governance program, prioritize collaboration and trust among stakeholders involved in governing the organization’s data. By actively involving data stewards, data users, IT professionals, and other relevant parties, non-invasive data governance creates an environment where everyone’s expertise and perspectives are valued. This collaborative approach promotes a sense of ownership (sic), accountability, and collective responsibility for data, leading to improved data quality and management practices.

An athletic trainer’s primary focus is to optimize athletes’ performance. The non-invasive data governance approach and its administrators strive to enhance the performance of data assets within the organization’s ecosystem. By establishing guidelines, standards, and best practices, data governance ensures the accuracy, consistency, and reliability of data. This optimization empowers the organization to make informed decisions based on reliable information, improve operational efficiency, and achieve better outcomes. Non-invasive data governance achieves these goals without disrupting the existing workflows and data management processes, seamlessly integrating into the organization’s operations.

Athletic trainers play a vital role in mitigating the risks associated with injuries and ensuring the overall well-being of athletes. A non-invasive data governance program, and by association their leaders and managers, help mitigate risks associated with data management within the organization’s environment. By implementing data policies, security measures, and privacy protocols, this approach ensures compliance with regulatory requirements and protects sensitive data from unauthorized access or breaches. Proactively addressing data-related risks through non-invasive data governance protects the organization’s reputation and shields the integrity of the data, fostering a culture of data security and responsible data management.

Some athletic trainers, mostly personal trainers (as corrected by my daughter), must adapt to evolving circumstances, such as injuries, advancements in sports science, or changes in training techniques. The non-invasive data governance approach embraces flexibility and adaptability in response to the ever-changing data landscape. With the rapid evolution of technology and data-driven practices, data governance must accommodate new data sources, emerging technologies, and evolving regulatory frameworks. The non-invasive approach ensures that data governance strategies remain scalable, agile, and relevant, enabling the organization to navigate changing circumstances effectively and derive long-term benefits from their data assets.

And last but not least, athletic trainers must be committed to continuous improvement and staying up to date with the latest advancements in sports science and injury prevention. The non-invasive approach to data governance emphasizes continuous improvement and education within the organization’s data management practices. By regularly assessing and refining data governance strategies, incorporating feedback, and staying informed about industry trends and best practices, organizations can enhance their data management capabilities over time. This commitment to continuous improvement ensures that the organization maximizes the value of its data assets while remaining adaptable in an ever-evolving data landscape.

Just as an organization relies on an experienced and trusted athletic trainer for guidance, support, and performance enhancement, organizations can benefit greatly from adopting the non-invasive approach to data governance. This approach fosters trust, collaboration, and accountability among stakeholders, optimizes data performance, mitigates risks, adapts to changing circumstances, and promotes continuous improvement. By embracing non-invasive data governance, organizations can unlock the full potential of their data assets, make informed decisions, and gain a competitive edge in the data-driven world of business management.

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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 Emeritus 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 the followup book - Non-Invasive Data Governance Strikes Again: Gaining Experience and Perspective (Technics 2023), and has hosted the popular monthly webinar series on data governance called Real-World Data Governance (w Dataversity) since 2012. Seiner holds the position of Adjunct Faculty and Instructor for the Carnegie Mellon University Heinz College Chief Data Officer Executive Education program.

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