Practical Points from the DGPO: You Can Be Successful in Data Governance

COL02x - feature image DGPO BuffAren’t you tired of seeing articles, blogs, and postings about struggling and failing data governance programs? One of the frequent questions that the Data Governance Professionals Organization (DGPO) receives is “can anyone REALLY be successful with data governance?”

Based on this question, the DGPO created the Annual Data Governance Best Practice Award.

The award is given to the practitioners within a non-vendor organization in recognition of the business value and technical excellence they have achieved in the design and implementation of an outstanding data governance program.

In 2017, Vanguard was the winner, TIAA placed second, and Dun and Bradstreet placed third.  Last year, Dun and Bradstreet was the winner, Freddie Mac was the runner-up, and the Arkansas Insurance Department placed third.

This past March, the DGPO completed judging submissions for the 2019 Data Governance Best Practice Award.  This year the DGPO received 15 submissions from a diverse variety of companies across the world.  Submissions were received from organizations in Hong Kong, Mexico, the Netherlands and the United States.  Submissions represented international and domestic companies from the agricultural, financial, healthcare, education, insurance, utilities, telecommunications, as well as government agencies at the state and federal levels.  It was wonderful to see such diversity in this year’s submissions once again.

Each submission was judged based on the criteria listed below.  The criteria tie closely to the DGPO Best Practices Framework (see graphic below) that was developed by a working group of DGPO members representing all industries across many organizations.

  • Business need(s) being addressed
  • Approach used to design, develop, and implement the program
  • Scope and depth of the Data Governance Program as well as program longevity
  • Data governance defined roles and responsibilities
  • Communications and marketing approaches
  • Policies, procedures, and processes established
  • Program metrics and business value provided


If you are a DGPO member, you can find additional information on the DGPO Members Only page.  Each of the 6 best practice areas (Communication, Fundamentals, Metrics, Organization, Process, and Stewardship) contains short and long descriptions of each best practice as well as the rationale for why it is a best practice and practical tips for our members.

The Judges for this year’s award were:

  • Anne Buff, SAS, VP of Communications, DGPO
  • Barbara Deemer, Navient, DGPO Charter Member
  • Michele Koch, Navient, VP of Membership, DGPO
  • John Ladley, Sonrai Solutions, DGPO Advisor
  • Janet Lichtenberger, Walgreens, DGPO Charter Member
  • Sal Passariello, Accenture, Treasurer, DGPO
  • Kevin Shannon, Dun & Bradstreet, Winner of the 2018 DGPO Data Governance Best Practice Award

Earlier this Spring, the DGPO announced that Nationwide Insurance was the Winner of the 2019 Data Governance Best Practice Award.  Scott Peachey, Director, Enterprise Data Governance and Quality Assurance at Nationwide said, “Complete and utter exuberance would probably be the best way to describe how we felt after learning we had won the Best Practices award. It’s really a testament to the passion, dedication and progressive thinking the entire team at Nationwide has around governing data.”  Lead Judge, Michele Koch from Navient, said, “Nationwide’s Data Governance program exemplified the characteristics of a successful, seasoned enterprise program. Since 2001, Nationwide has been growing and evolving their program. Their focus on detailed roles and responsibilities, procedural areas and innovative communication and marketing strategies clearly demonstrated why their program is the Winner.”

If you were at the Data Governance and Information Quality (DGIQ) Conference on June 5, 2019 in San Diego, CA, you had the opportunity to hear a keynote presentation from Scott Peachey and Cynthia Parsons from Nationwide Insurance.  In their keynote, Scott and Cynthia shared some of their key best practices with the attendees.  If you were not able to attend, the video of the keynote will be available later this month at The DGIQ Conference website.

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Scott Peachey and Cynthia Parsons from Nationwide accepting their award and presenting at the DGIQ conference.

The 2019 second-place winner was Salt River Project (SRP) Power and Water and third-place went to Amica Mutual Insurance.  The DGPO would like to congratulate this year’s winners and thank all the organizations that participated in this event.


Shelia Embree and Donald LeMay from Amica Mutual Insurance accepting their award at the DGIQ conference.

DGPO members can access all the submissions on the DGPO Members Only area of the DGPO website.  If you are interested in joining the DGPO, please visit us at

All of the award winners for the past several years and this year’s finalists are presenting at The 2019 Data Governance Winter Conference, Dec. 2-6, 2019 in Delray Beach, Florida and participating in a Q&A session where you have the opportunity to find out how you can develop an award winning program.  The DGPO hopes to see you there!

We hope you can join us for the next DGPO webinar on July 10, 2019.  2018 Award Winner Lisa Baughman from Dun & Bradstreet will present on How Dun & Bradstreet Developed  a Strong Policy Compliance Program.

The DGPO is a non-profit, vendor neutral, association of business, IT and data professionals dedicated to advancing the discipline of data governance. If you would like more information about the DGPO and benefits of membership, please check out the DGPO Website.

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Data Governance Professionals Organization

Data Governance Professionals Organization

The DGPO is a non-profit, vendor neutral, association of business, IT and data professionals dedicated to advancing the discipline of data governance. If you would like more information on joining the DGPO, please check out the DGPO Website.

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