Posted on: January 13, 2021 | 4 min read

The Impact of Data Ownership on Analytics Processes

In the realm of Data Governance, there are three main roles that maintain and are accountable for data. These include Data Owners, Data Stewards, and Strategic Leaders. When looking at a workforce structure, individuals with titles like Data Architect, Solution Architect, Chief Information Officer, Chief Data Officer, Chief Executive Officer, Business Analysts (to name a few) hold these roles amongst other responsibilities. These roles may also be dispersed between multiple individuals, depending on the way that data is organized or the number of business units within an enterprise.

Strategic Leaders are accountable for the entire data governance program and ensure that governance is strategically aligned to requirements, policies, and procedures across the business. Typically, the Strategic Leader is an Executive, while in other companies, the Strategic Leader reports to the Executive function.

Data Owners are leaders who have accountability over a certain set of data or subject area. These individuals are establishing controls for business use, reporting and escalating data issues, and creating data standards for the organization.

Data Stewards are operationally in charge of supporting a set of data, usually on behalf of a data owner. Data stewards are often ensuring information meets customer needs and assess data early in the process.

All these functions have a role in being Data Custodians. Meaning, they manage applications that collect data or support data operations such as reporting and analytics.

As we learned in the blog “How Members First Federal Credit Union Overcame Hardship with Governance and Analytics” without clear delineation of data ownership, problems can ensue. Member’s First Credit Union, for example, learned that understanding the makeup of data within a system greatly impacted analytics down the line. It’s this importance of data ownership that makes a great impact on data governance and analytics.

Below is a snippet of the interview with Anita McAllister, AVP of Data & Analytics, Members 1st Federal Credit Union, Karen Roland, AVP of Marketing at Members 1st Federal Credit Union, and John Bastone, Head of Customer Success, CCG.

Anita McAllister [10:11]: I would say one of the things is over the years, we've grown very quickly and we have leaders in various areas of the business own certain systems and as they're bringing them on, sometimes we're not prepared upfront enough to think about that data in hindsight to go back, it's very difficult. If you're prepared up front as you're implementing those systems and really recognizing, Okay, what's the relevance of this data, what will be used for? Getting some of that metadata up front so that you're better prepared for what you'll be using it for in analytics role. So it's really about data acquisition, I think, and getting some of those policies and standards up front that I think we still need to do a better job with, but that seems to be the challenge of just really recognizing who are the data owners and making sure that they understand how this all plays into that bigger picture.

John Bastone [11:05]: Great segue to another concept I wanted to talk to both of you about, which is the notion of data governance, and this one's for Karen, one of the strongest areas I think we (CCG) had during this time of pandemic, hasn't been around a better reporting or tech. We're getting flooded with inquiries around people and process considerations for data governments. Anita mentioned the notion of metadata management and what the processes you have in place to identify data stewards, how do you design the metrics that matter. From your perspective, leading a line of business, what are some of the ways a lack of data governance impact or could impact your ability to get your fundamental job done?

Click here to learn more about CCG’s Data Governance Framework.

Karen Roland [12:18]: The lack of data governance is a huge gap. in kudos to Anita and her team, they've done so much pre-COVID, but really ramped it up to her point this year. All of our decisions come down to data, and if we don't have integrity in that data, it's really tough to make decisions from, and the type of decisions we're making now because of the level of personalization and because of our focus on experiences could be really monumental if we get it wrong, cause we're looking at things like really just trying to map our member experiences and what are the journeys and to Anita’s point, that could be five, six, seven, eight different departments and different systems that all have a critical role.

This transcript was edited for clarity and conciseness.

Explore how to set up a Data Governance office in as little as six weeks with a RapidDG offer from CCG. Learn more and contact an expert here.

Written by CCG, an organization in Tampa, Florida, that helps companies become more insights-driven, solve complex challenges and accelerate growth through industry-specific data and analytics solutions.

Topic(s): Featured , Data Science
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