Data Governance Landscape


Following on from last months; ”Identify, Cure, Care” method for managing your data, I think it is useful to talk about the organisation structure and council / committee, which if in place and operating effectively, will support your data management activity.

But firstly;

Master Data Management vs Data Governance

I have purposely not separated between the two disciplines as one without the other is like using water to wash your hands without soap, it works, but is much more effective if both are used together.

Master Data Management (MDM)

The journey of achieving consistent, good quality data across the organisation.

  • Identifying and managing duplicate records and improving the quality of information.   To do this effectively requires a thorough understanding of the information.  How and where is it created, and modified.  What roles and rules are needed to manage it, how and where is it used and when and where it is archived.

Data Governance (DG)

The complete lifecycle of information deemed important to the organisation to mitigate risk.

Example: The packaged (gross) weight of a product – 540g the weight of a metal stapler in a cardboard box; used in logistics, marketing text on the website, customer forms for advising on new products, government reporting:  When and where is this information collected?  How is it managed; checked, stored, communicated.  How long is the data available for, before being archived, will it still need to be accessed after archived?

The data and activities used to manage the data are all part of your companies data governance.

Now that point is clarified, back to the topic of the organisational landscape:

Data Governance Organisation Structure

Bringing structure to your data governance efforts will enhance and support your activities as responsibilities and accountabilities will be clear.  The structure may be more matrix than hierarchical, enabling a more collaborative approach to managing data.

Data Governance Council / Committee

The Data Governance Committee is the formal group for defining the authority of individuals, providing oversight and ultimately assuring the senior management that the processes in place for data meet the agreed standards for efficient and effective management of the organisation.

The committee is formed of managers and experts who have accountability for different aspects of data within the organisation.  This could be a new committee or an extension to the terms of reference for an existing committee.

The committee take responsibility for:

  • Overall accountability for oversight and assurance of Data and its Quality
  • Define authority for data management roles
  • Additions, deletions or movement of products within categories
  • Changes to, or creation/retiring of processes
  • Additional data requirements due to customer need or legislation
  • Amendments to existing or creation of new policies
  • During your data management activity the committee will assist with prioritising of data quality activities. i.e. Which “chunk” of the data is next.
  • Resolve escalated data quality issues
  • Review and monitor quality measures and trends via exception reporting

    Example; A new product category is being created, for a specific clip type called K-clip.  The K-clip will be a global product in many different pack qualities and colours.  As it is a new product the sales need to be recorded separately to existing clips, this will highlight region and colour specific successes or failures.  Before creating a new category the committee will facilitate the checking of existing reporting structures, which need checking to avoid duplication or conflicts.

    The committee will meet regularly, with an agreed agenda, with decisions and actions being recorded. The regularity of the meetings maybe fortnightly initially, moving to quarterly as a high level of maturity develops on management of data.

    Next month I will explain: Process owners, Data Stewards, Data Owners, Data Producers, Data


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