Data management has become an integral part of business organizations helping them leverage their information to boost their performance. However, it is in implementing a successful data governance strategy that most of them struggle. Enterprises need to create an effective plan to monitor their information management program. Governance is a largely technical initiative but cannot succeed without efficient human resources. Most organizations make the mistake of thinking of governance as an IT-driven initiative. Similarly, a lot of business owners think that once the mechanism has been created, it will function on its own. In fact, you need to keep a close watch on your monitoring program as well to keep it running efficiently. Here we are discussing some best practices that will help in creating and executing a powerful data governance strategy.
1. Start The Program On A Small Scale
A common mistake that is made by most businesses is to roll out the program at once across their organization. Governance involves the implementation of various technological tools and processes and trying to execute a largely technical program at once rarely succeeds. Imagine trying to solve numerous issues at the same time across different departments. There will be chaos that will severely affect the operational efficiency of your enterprise. Formulating a plan for enterprise-wide rollout does not mean that it must be executed in all sections at the same time. Make a thorough assessment of the preparedness levels of all sections. This will help in identifying the starting point of the program. The experience of executing the plan in that section will help in knowing the issues that can arise during later phases. This will allow you to create a plan to avoid those problems in the future.
2. Identify The Business Benefits Of The Initiative
The monitoring program is started to ensure that data assets remain secure and the management initiative functions in an optimized manner. However, if you only explain the technical benefits of the plan, it will not cut much ice with anyone. You need to link the program to some key business goals so that the workforce- from top executives to junior workers, understand its value. For instance, missing postal codes in many addresses will be causing problems for the sales team. The monitoring group will define a rule that a lead will be allowed to be entered into the database only if the vital detail is included. This will ensure that the sales team can locate the addresses easily and make efforts to convert the leads. This is a clear business benefit that will encourage people to support the initiative. It is essential to identify such advantages of the scheme for your business to ensure enterprise-wide support.
3. Build Data Catalogs To Ensure Clarity
Organizations need to conduct data cataloging to lay a strong foundation for a successful data governance strategy. Catalogs help in creating a centralized location for all the metadata related to assets that are located across multiple data dictionaries. This practice helps in creating a better understanding of the assets among the workforce. There is clarity about definitions and key business attributes that helps users in understanding the exact nature of the elements. Users can then explore the full potential of the items and turn them into assets. Catalogs provide a clear view of the origin and the flow of the elements throughout the system. They also identify users with stewardship and ownership roles. This makes it easy for other users to know where to report a data-related issue.
4. Look To Create A Centralized Structure
Enterprises are promoting the use of analytics tools across all hierarchical levels. Their intention is to get more insight into their information. However, this can create problems for governance with new enhancements taking place at lower levels. Organizations need to create a centralized structure to exercise effective control over their assets. This will be helpful in keeping track of all the elements and the changes they undergo during various processes. Failing to create a federated structure with a governance team in control will create problems at lower levels where most of the consolidation and processing happens.
5. Track The Progress Of The Program
How will you know that your monitoring mechanism is providing fruitful results? You need to have a system to track the progress of the initiative. Identify some key metrics that will be tracked to understand the state of the program. Make sure you define these factors right at the outset. These metrics will help you in knowing whether your program is going to be successful or not. They will also help in identifying problems that occur along the way. The failure to reach a specified goal or a drop in a metric will be a clear indication that something is not right. This will help you in making the necessary changes to keep the plan on track.
A successful data governance strategy holds the key to an effective information management program. Organizations need to define a proper monitoring plan right at the beginning to ensure the data management strategy initiative runs smoothly.