Putting together a high-quality data governance team can be a challenge. Explore the necessary team members and best practices for a high-performing team.

From small shops to Fortune 500s, there is one common component that improves a business’s ability to fully utilize high-quality data across an organization: a focus on data governance. The ultimate success of data governance initiatives falls to the team responsible for creating, implementing and updating data governance policies and procedures and marketing their benefits to the enterprise.

The size of a business should never be a determining factor for treating data as an enterprise asset. From a two-person shop to a staff of 20,000, all businesses need to ensure the quality, security and consistency of their data stores. The only difference should be the size of the team responsible for ensuring effective data governance across the organization.

What is data governance?

Data governance is the strategic program that defines the roles, rules, processes and best practices an organization should follow to ensure the safety, quality and proper use of data. Data governance provides a blueprint of controls to guarantee effective management of data at the enterprise level.

The inputs to data governance are standard IT community best practices, as well as corporate, industry-specific and governmental regulatory framework specifications. The program is a joint business and IT initiative with both departments playing equally important roles.

Data governance policies primarily focus on business outcomes. They are technology-agnostic controls that have universal application across the organization.

High-quality data governance team

There is one common factor primarily responsible for the success of any business or technical initiative: the quality of the data governance team tasked with achieving the project’s goals.

Focused best practices to build a highly effective data governance team include:

Well-defined goals. The first step is to create a data governance program charter that defines the scope, objectives and goals the data governance team will achieve. The charter also documents the team’s makeup, including roles, responsibilities and authorities. The data governance team will use the program charter to educate the organization on its enterprise-wide goals, activities and responsibilities.

Good communication. Not all decisions on data governance are easy. The team will face many challenges that have several potential solutions. Each person must feel comfortable expressing their opinions. Additionally, team members need to effectively articulate the benefits of good data governance to other personnel. From operational support technicians to the C-suite, data governance teams must obtain buy-in from their fellow employees to be successful. The team must realize many recommendations will lead to an increase in workloads at all operational levels and be able to communicate why the increase is necessary.

Passion for data governance. Each team member becomes an evangelist for good data governance. Marketing the benefits of good data governance has a much greater chance of obtaining enterprise-wide buy-in than a dictatorial approach. Additionally, implementing a data governance framework is challenging. Team members need to be resilient to overcome the challenges, delays and setbacks of implementation.

The right people with the right skills. Data governance specialists are often challenging to find and can be expensive, but that doesn’t prevent you from promoting one. Identify personnel who express an interest and provide them with the time and training to learn all about data governance. You can build the team based on budgetary constraints and the employee assets you have available.

Effectively utilize internal and external resources. A data governance team needs to establish strong relationships with data management and business units, as business personnel provide critical insights to create data usage and control policies. Data governance teams need feedback from data management personnel responsible for adhering to their policies. A control that looks good in a policy document may not work as expected during operational implementation. And data management teams often identify opportunities for new controls and provide recommendations to improve existing policies.

Data governance roles and responsibilities

The roles and responsibilities below are inherently fluid by nature and depend on the size of the organization. Some of the roles are full time, while others are part-time responsibilities. Many of the ground-level, operational data governance activities will be distributed to business and technical teams that interact with the data elements on a daily basis.

Bottom line

Establishing a strong data governance team requires a blend of technical knowledge and business savvy. Be sure to include a balance between the two for a successful data governance framework.

Taken directly from: https://searchdatamanagement.techtarget.com/feature/Who-belongs-on-a-high-performance-data-governance-team?utm_campaign=20210906_ERU+Transmission+for+09%2F06%2F2021+%28UserUniverse%3A+330032%29&utm_medium=EM&utm_source=ERU&src=8200072&asrc=EM_ERU_178865701&utm_content=eru-rd2-rcpG

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