Data Governance and Business Transformation

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Collibra organized a Data Governance and Business Transformation seminar in Paris recently, bringing together data managers from the financial, retail, transportation, and logistics industries.

Digital transformation remains a central business initiative that relies on data. Initially, data functions were focused on regulatory compliance, however, many executive teams now want to see continued innovation and results from the Chief Data Officer that generate value and growth for the company.

During the seminar, Collibra and Data Citizens presented some findings and current developments regarding digital transformation:

Henry Peyret, Principal Analyst for Forrester, proposed an analysis of the role of data governance in the digital transformation of companies.

What Forrester describes as “Data Governance 2.0” goes beyond the customer-centric model and regulatory constraints. This future form of data governance is shifting towards a model in which end customers form their own ecosystem centered around their own values. Customers are no longer only consumers of data, but they contribute through platforms and social networks as well. By adapting to the specific needs of the customer based on the data collected, the customer experience can be enhanced. According to Forrester, Governance 2.0 will lead organizations to implement a “Data Management Continuum,” enabling continuous improvement of the company’s products and services. Improvements such as added transparency to customers, better control of the rules shared between producers and consumers of data, and user-centric data lifecycle management.

During the roundtable discussion, Data Citizens came together to examine the evolving role of data governance within the company, and how reshaping the organizational structure can help drive a governance program.

Governance Across the Enterprise

Data governance, the implementation of which was in essence initially driven by regulations (especially the GDPR), is now at the heart of organizations in all sectors of activity. The Chief Data Officer (CDO) works to have data governance supporting business and digital transformation projects while ensuring the deployment of a data culture at all levels of the company. Once its organization and procedure are launched, it acquires a range of services, including tools, not only to improve the knowledge and understanding of the information assets but also to contribute to their quality.

This controlled information asset becomes a strategic element, especially if it is shareable and directly usable by trades. In this way, access to data knowledge is no longer limited to analysts/experts.

Driving Change with the Organizational Structure

The CDO and their teams are responsible for creating and facilitating the data governance roles. The formalization of job descriptions is not enough to motivate potential stakeholders. The people involved are the custodians of new norms, standards, and spokespersons for governance within their entities. These are significant issues and it’s sometimes difficult to demonstrate to employees who sometimes perceive governance as a new constraint. The support of data teams with these stakeholders is crucial to their success, especially since few data stewards, data owners, and data managers are 100% affected in their data function. Whatever the chosen format (videos, MOOC, events, etc.), education and training are essential as data governance and related functions are still new to many companies.

To encourage support, roles must be thought of as “trades,” designed to evolve and adapt to the needs of the situation. A use-based approach promotes stakeholder participation (business, IT, legal, etc.), thus allowing the identification of a sponsor and the delivery of results (financial gain, operational efficiency, or risk management) on a defined business scope. This approach provides flexibility to facilitate the deployment of roles; especially since the notion of sole proprietor of any given data proves difficult in organizations.

The deployment of a data governance workflow has several payoffs, lik: enabling collaborative work (productivity gain), accelerating the decision-making process, and making the roles for each actor a reality. The most mature companies implement them to move from theoretical governance to operational and active governance.

A Data Governance Platform: Accelerating the Deployment of the Data Function

Issues regarding lack of knowledge and poor quality are common in data. To overcome this problem, resources must be granted with a strong buy-in at the executive level. Data governance programs are being implemented to solve those issues, as well as the complexity of information systems (IS), the diversification of data sources, and the acceleration of project cycles. For example, a panel member wanted to enhancetoand current customer of Collibra the Collibra Platform to enhance their data lake usage and provide the business with knowledge of the data and metadata made available (via a business glossary and Collibra Catalog),while as well asand also to securinge the uses keeping it secure by validating checks that the data is consumed for the desired use and according to the internal company policies. As such, tools like data catalogs the tools enable the activation of data governance, now under the responsibility of expert resources and committees, but which often come across difficulties in breaking down organizational silos. For example, Mmany panel members have implemented the lineage of critical data, data validation workflows, or access to a request by a data scientist to a data set to respond to project needs and empower stakeholders in the data lifecycle.

In conclusion, the panel agreed that the regulatory need and the contribution to digital transformation would remain key issues in their 2019 roadmaps. The organization, the user-based approach, the implementation of workflows and tools sustainably put the data function in the key company processes. The next step in this process will be to measure the benefits as a growth driver for the company.

Collibra would once again like to thank Henry Peyret, participants of the round table: Renato Aganippe (CDO AXA Banque), Pascal Bourcier (BPCE Tools and Access Manager), Pierre Guillemin (CDO Natixis), Julien Iris (Mission Director, Fab Big Data SNCF), as well as the many participants in this event, whose success demonstrates companies’ growing interest in engaging data governance issues.