How to Overcome 9 Common Challenges of Data Governance
Written by: Natalie Greenwood
As a data governance consultant, I often rely on frameworks to guide engagements. There are numerous published methodologies that are comprehensive by design and when given the time, budget, and access to the right people, the frameworks can be a great guide. I rarely see the need to re-invent the wheel and have had a lot of success in implementing many of the tried and true published methodologies. However, working with these very comprehensive frameworks can be time consuming and depending on the size of the organization, can take months to complete the discovery/assessment phase alone. Additionally, as DG spans almost all business and IT departments, conducting discovery sessions can be disruptive to the business. By the time the assessment phase is complete, the organization had long moved on to the next big thing, DG funding has been re-appropriated to other areas of the business and the once desired DG program is put on hold.
When I joined CCG, I joined a team of solution architects with a deep background in data management, and data governance. Literally, we have over 6 decades of total DG experience between us. To say these folks had,” been there, done that,” is an understatement. Like me, they were frustrated with how difficult it was to get DG off the ground. Often, organizations have short attention spans and as you may be aware, DG is not something that can be stood up overnight. We all agreed that we needed a new approach. We needed to be able to assess organizations faster and provide “actionable insights” that could be quickly implemented with minimal disruption to the business. To achieve this, we needed to develop a simplified, more targeted framework and methodology.
The team identified key themes/challenges that we heard repeatedly while engaging with clients. We then identified and prioritized the DG competencies that would yield the highest returns.
Below are a sample of the most common themes we heard during our assessments:
I don’t trust the data (data quality)
The data architecture is the wild, wild west (data architecture)
There is no single way to request data/reports (data architecture)
I do not know how my metrics are defined (metadata management)
I couldn’t tell you what source system the data came from (metadata management)
I do not know who has access to the data (data security and privacy)
I have no idea who is responsible for the data (program management)
I know we have sensitive data, but we don’t classify it or manage it as sensitive (data security and privacy)
I’m not sure what our policies and procedures are for approving data access (data security and privacy)
We heard the same 5 competencies repeatedly:
Data Security and Privacy
These competencies became the basis for the CCGDG framework, also known as the “CCG Doughnut.”
The center of the doughnut is the program management (PM) function. The development of a formal PM function ensures that ownership and accountability are established, and rules of engagement are defined. The PM function is the key to enabling the competencies on the outer layer, including data architecture, data security and privacy, data quality, and metadata management.
Using the new, simplified, framework coupled with our RapidDG accelerator program, we can assess and enable DG in as quickly as 6 weeks. This includes support with enabling your program management function, including a formal charter and identification of key resources to support the program management function, development of a business case for ongoing DG support, and the development of a 9-12-month actionable roadmap.
By focusing on these 5 key competencies we can quickly assess an organizations DG readiness and develop an actionable roadmap to support the enablement of a formal program.