Data governance: The discover phase

Starting with a discover phase for your data governance initiative will provide you with a greater probability of success.

data center
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Data governance is the foundation for organization-wide data management. The DAMA DMBOK2 Framework shows data governance in the center for that very reason. Data management functions are more straightforward to implement if a data governance capability can be leveraged.

Regardless of the type of data an organization is managing – data warehouse, data lakes, big data, etc. – a strong data governance capability is important. It will enable proactive management of your data in support of your business strategy and vision.

The activities needed to initiate and successfully scale a data governance capability remain the same, regardless of the data environment:

  • Discover
  • Implement
  • Scale

Taking the first step

Understanding the current data landscape, as well as what key business leaders envision, is the first step. Data governance can be leveraged for many purposes:

  • Data quality management
  • Developing standard business language and a business glossary for common data definitions
  • Data or report certification
  • Prioritization of data-related initiatives
  • Development and enforcement of various standards or policies
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Access and security

The discover phase of a data governance initiative can help to identify the key focus areas. It may be that the organization starts with an initial purpose, then expands into other areas as the program takes hold.

Once the data governance focus areas are identified, identification of the key stakeholders can be completed. This information will then lead to a draft charter and a proposed organization and approach.

With the information gathered from the discover phase, the data governance roadmap can be developed. In addition to the charter and proposed organization, it will include the implementation approach, timeline, staffing needs and communication strategy.

The discover phase can be accomplished in a few short weeks, and enables a well-coordinated data governance implementation.

Working through the discover phase with the desired future state in mind, the resulting roadmap will provide you with a greater probability of establishing a data governance capability that will scale in the long run.

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