A Common Currency

Achieving Excellence in Data Governance and Adoption of Analytics

Topics: Information Technology, Data Management, Information Security, IT Governance

Background Information

Setting Up for Success

Data goverance maturity a clear correlation with BI maturity

Data from the IT Forum’s business intelligence benchmarking survey supports the centrality of data governance as core to successful BI efforts.

Characteristics of institutional approaches to data management and decision making composed a BI maturity index. Participants also self-identified the maturity of their institutions’ data governance, based on the scope and formality of the governance efforts.

Although mature data governance does not dictate mature BI, institutions that reported higher levels of data governance maturity also reported higher levels of BI maturity. Interestingly, no institutions that reported having enterprise perspectives on data governance fell below zero on the BI maturity index.


Why Am I Here?

Data goverance notorious for member participation drop-off

Although many interviewees recognized the importance of data governance, many CIOs also lamented that several data governance efforts on their campuses had failed.

Data governance committee member disengagement serves as a major roadblock for advancing data governance maturity. Committee members cannot connect with many of the terms being discussed, and irrelevance of meetings often leads members to send delegates in their place or stop attending altogether. These failed efforts often discourage campus members from supporting future data governance initiatives.


Laying Down the Law

With lives on the line, no time for data hoarding

Data ownership—the idea that With Lives on the Line, No Time for Data Hoarding data belongs to an individual or a unit rather than an organization—presents another major pitfall for business intelligence efforts, as inaccessible data cannot be integrated with other data sets or analyzed by anyone other than the "owner."

During an effort to identify causes of, and prevent, soldier suicide, U.S. Army leaders struggled with data stewards who claimed ownership over data. These claims ranged from sincere concern over the data’s use to generic territoriality over the data.

Given the initiative’s urgent mission, the Deputy Under- Secretary of the Army determined that a culture of siloed ownership was no longer acceptable. Data stewards could no longer use the phrase “my data,” and anyone who claimed ownership would have to speak directly with the Deputy Under-Secretary to support their claims. To encourage acceptance of more open data, the Deputy Under- Secretary declared that data quality errors would be expected and tolerated—no one would be punished for errors.

Data Governance for Performance Management

Hallmark 1: Institutional Ownership of Data