Modern organizations are struggling with managing their information assets and gaining valuable insight into them. A well thought out enterprise data governance strategy gives them a chance to monitor the information management program and run it efficiently. Enterprises, these days, are accessing loads of information about all aspects of their business. The volumes of data generated by them are massive and while digital storage and management systems have made things easier, they have created some unique challenges at the same time. The presence of redundant information and the generation of duplicate datasets are just two examples of the obstacles faced by companies in handling their assets efficiently. Having a well-defined data governance approach helps in establishing a monitoring framework for overseeing the management initiative. Let’s see how can businesses formulate a plan for the purpose.
1. Get The Executive Leadership To Support The Program
It is impossible to run a program without the support of the leadership group of the organization. In order to bring the top executives who run the company, on board, it is necessary to explain to them the value of the initiative. The key decision makers will not lend their support unless they understand that the new plan will add some quantifiable business value to the enterprise. Identify the problems faced by the organization and show how governance can resolve those issues. For instance, incomplete information like missing street name/number from the addresses of potential leads will be hampering the sales team’s efforts. It can be explained how governance will identify and report the existence of incomplete datasets and force the stakeholders to rectify the problem.
2. Create A Steering Committee For Governance
Organizations need a steering committee which will create the roadmap for the initiative and then oversee its implementation. This group needs to have members from all disciplines across the enterprise. This team will be responsible for identifying the ideal data state for the business and then conducting a current state analysis. The exercise will help the group identify the gaps and then create a suitable and effective plan. For example, the committee will assess whether the company is complying with all applicable legal regulations or not. It will then identify the steps needed to ensure compliance with each law.
3. Identify A Suitable Framework For The Organization
The next step in charting out the enterprise data governance strategy is to identify a suitable framework for governance. Each organization has its own unique structure and the plan needs to fit into that system. In some enterprises, data governance will be the driving force behind all the decisions, meaning all the business rules and policies needed for maintaining data quality, security, etc. will be defined with data governance in mind. Corporate, IT, and other monitoring mechanisms will be below the initiative in the hierarchical order. The reverse is also applied in many businesses where the corporate governance interests are primary consideration factors while defining the policies. Companies must choose a framework which is suitable for their organizational structure.
4. Create A Plan For Redundant Data
While planning their strategy, corporations are focused on creating the structure and identifying key team members, hardly giving a thought to redundant data. The information which ceases to hold any value but is still present in the database can make the management system inefficient. It is essential that businesses address the issue right at the outset. The governance plan must include the methods to ascertain the value of all assets at regular intervals. It will help in identifying useless items. The scheme must also include steps for the deletion of such elements besides having a strategy for archival of data which holds value but is not actively needed currently.
5. Link Governance With Employee Goals
Governance will succeed only if the entire workforce understands the value of consistent data and handles assets in a prescribed manner. It will be helpful to link it with employee goals so that the users at all levels will themselves be careful about following the specified procedures. Make sure that all the processes and steps defined by the governance team are practically included in the management processes conducted by the users. This will reduce the number of procedural errors and inconsistencies.
Creating an enterprise data governance strategy will help organizations in managing their information assets in an efficient manner. However, they must not make the mistake of treating governance as a project. It is a constant process which is necessary for maintaining the productivity of the management initiative.