Many enterprises persistently try to prove they have achieved great things with their data governance framework. However, defining those "great things" is never so easy – as most of them build only an unmanageable architecture resembling a falling Jenga tower. Today's IT ecosystems are much more dynamic and complex than enterprises expect. Therefore, non-disruptively implementing a data governance approach in a dynamic and complex environment requires a program team, governance council, and tact.
Enterprises face a raft of challenges while designing and implementing their data governance framework. In many cases, they lack clarity and don't approach it as an integrated set of discipline for data lifecycle management. They face potential speed bumps when they implement policies via line of business, or specific functional area division. This traditional approach suffers from several kickbacks and it makes policy management trickier and riskier.
Data governance involves development of policies, practices, standardized procedures for effective management of data across the organization. It involves development and implementation of policies, practices, standards, and procedures that manage data and information across an organization.
A successful data governance framework spans all lines of business or functional areas. It provides a holistic view to enable a coherent layering around optimal organizational components. Here is a successful structure for data governance that successful enterprises use:
Data Governance Strategy: Smart enterprises plan out their strategy before implementing a governance framework. Such a strategy is based on a rock solid information management framework and it covers important elements like metadata management, data quality, master data, etc. This strategy allows enterprises in extracting value out of data and leveraging it across all departments. It helps enterprises in prioritizing data management across all lines of business. Enterprises get the resiliency to proactively deal with data management challenges and avoid downtimes and outages.
Data Governance Program Team: Data governance projects that thrive depend upon champions from business & IT. A crackerjack data governance program is driven by business and powered by the IT team. This data governance team should solicit user requirements to ensure that their governance framework articulates requirements, metrics, and incremental approaches to measure data policy with compliances. A dedicated data governance team can accelerate the development and implementation of data governance policies.
Data Stewardship Team: Smart enterprises appoint data stewards from different business areas to streamline the implementation of data governance in conjunction with IT. These stewards set the standards for metadata used across each business area. In some use cases, multiple data stewards are hired for resolving intra-team issues or conflicts. These data stewards help enterprises to weed out cross-group differences and refine policies and metadata.
Data Governance Council: Enterprises can bolster their data governance initiatives by setting up a data governance council on top of the data governance program team and data stewardship team. This council can be made responsible for forming or approving data governance policies and procedures. Data governance council can play a crucial role in envisioning and monitoring the program. Alignment of business and technical leadership via a dedicated council ensures coordinated arrangement of the data governance framework.
Data governance can fail for many reasons; some of them being organization's lack of attention to data framework. The biggest problem is the ever-expanding size of the framework spanning across different derivatives which lead to shifts between business & IT. Successful data governance requires a balancing act.
How to do that? Enterprises can better manage many of these problems by setting up data governance teams, data stewardship teams, and data governance council. These teams can help enterprises in paying continued attention to organizational change management initiatives and growing needs. They can establish harmony between IT & business teams and bridge gaps existing between them.