Those who are familiar with data management would know how everyone stresses upon the need for an effective data governance strategy to make the program a success. However, most enterprises still do not possess the clarity of thought when it comes to defining a suitable data governance approach. A lot of organizations implement the mechanism in a perfunctory manner making no real efforts to involve the entire workforce or connecting it to business processes. This leads to poor response to the program and no real visible benefits which ultimately results in the end of the initiative. Governance, when applied, in a planned manner helps in keeping a close watch on all information assets throughout their entire life cycle. This helps in maintaining the quality of the assets and enabling the enterprise to make better decisions based on accurate evaluations of the data elements. In this article, we are presenting some helpful suggestions that can be used in creating a successful governance strategy.
1. Implement The Program To Meet A Specific Business Challenge
The implementation of the governance scheme must be done to meet some specific business objectives. A lot of companies initiate the plan without a clear goal in mind which means they do not chart a clear path for the initiative. Let’s say an enterprise is accessing customer information which is incomplete. The marketing department complaints that they cannot run their e-mail marketing campaign properly because of the lack of e-mail IDs of clients and leads. Now, the supervisory mechanism will monitor the points from where the customer data is entering the organization’s digital ecosystem and make sure that every single client dataset contains the respective ID. When businesses fail to connect the scheme with a definite aim in this manner, then the program remains ineffective and unproductive.
2. Do Not Base Your Governance Model On Any Other Enterprise’s Plan
Another mistake that must be avoided is using any other organization’s plan to monitor your own information management program. Every enterprise has its own unique requirements and challenges. Moreover, the business structure and the culture at all companies will also be different. Blindly implementing another corporation’s governance scheme will be an impractical exercise. The chief objective of every supervisory program is to focus on streamlining various business processes and securing the systems. This helps in making sure that data is acquired, stored, handled, and used in an efficient way. A lot of planning is required to understand the processes and identify suitable technological solutions and resources needed for executing the project. Large enterprises have to implement the program on a huge scale and they also do not face budgetary constraints. Small firms trying to emulate big corporations will neither be cost-effective nor provide any business value.
3. Include Business Analysts In The Planning Stage
Business analysts can play a critical role in formulating a successful data governance strategy. However, many companies regard it as a purely technical venture and fail to include business analysts in the planning. These experts can be valuable in understanding exactly where governance is needed at the organization. They will discuss the matter with various stakeholders and study the different processes to identify specific needs of the data users. Analysts can also identify the potential hurdles in implementing the scheme. Their input will be vital for defining the priorities of the program and planning the framework of the operating model. Involving business analysts will enterprises to get valuable insight into the current state of governance as well as the preparedness of the workforce for the new program.
4. Involve The Entire Workforce In The Initiative
Business owners must never make the mistake of treating governance as a top-down initiative. While it is necessary that the executive leadership lend its support, the plan will not be successful unless the staff at the lower levels understands its benefits. Let’s go back to our example of incomplete customer information which we discussed in the first point. Armed with statistics provided by the sales and marketing team, you can explain to the key decision makers how the absence of e-mail ID is harming the promotional campaign. The executives will understand the client e-mail IDs can help boost user engagement and conversion. However, the person at the lowest rung in the corporate ladder, the data entry operator, is blissfully unaware of the importance of customers’ e-mail addresses. How can you expect her to make all efforts to acquire the IDs from the leads? Explain to the users how their own productivity will improve if they follow the policies and procedures specified by the governance team. This will help in improving the success rate of the program.
5. Do Not Implement The Plan Without Maturity Level Assessment
It will not be pertinent to attempt to execute the entire project at once across the entire organization. Businesses must engage data governance consulting firms to assess their maturity levels. This exercise will let them know about the departments which are the best prepared for the new scheme. The consultants will identify the sections which generate a lot of information. They will analyze the present infrastructure being used to monitor the data management plan. Corporations can help recognize the possible challenges they will need to overcome. They will also identify the areas where the new scheme can be initiated quickly and with minimum problems. Once they have successfully set up the program in one business section, they can roll it out enterprise-wide with the least amount of trouble.
The foundation of a successful data governance strategy lies in thoughtful planning and identifying specific business goals. Enterprises must implement the program to add business value and improve their performance.