Data governance is a business activity. Several efforts to-date have started from within IT. However, the data belongs to the business, not IT. IT can advise, help manage repositories, offer critical background information regarding the systems, and help connect the dots. But, what the data is, what it means, whether it is used in the correct manner in the correct place, how it is being collected, and whether it is healthy, are all business prerogatives. If the business does not care about the state of its data, then data governance initiatives will mimic the siloed state of its existing environment and fail.
As the concept of data governance has become more accepted, so has the understanding of the need for data stewardship. Everyone needs to embrace the role of a data steward. If you collect, update, modify, delete, move, store, or utilize data, you are accountable for the best data possible. Collective accountability, in making sure the data is entered right the first time, is an important tactic to ensure that the data that is being produced promotes quality and consistency. In addition, data stewardship by all helps in avoiding any rework that may be necessary down the road.
Gaining senior leadership support for data governance programs is vital to the success, and ensures consensus from all throughout the organization. It is also critical to understand that data governance efforts need a period of time to form and norm, before real return on investment can be documented. Obviously, your own organization’s vision will drive the strategy, but the integrity of your data will be much more successful with support in place.
In this companion piece to “A ROADMAP TO EFFECTIVE DATA GOVERNANCE: How to Navigate Five Common Obstacles,” learn how to bring senior leadership on board by creating a program that succeeds in getting your data governance started and sustained, understands the importance of data stewardship, and takes the long-term view of data governance.