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Most data governance organizational activities and processes have traditionally been focused on the infrastructure efforts to create and maintain the most accurate and trusted critical data possible. After all, this has been the goal of the data management industry for many decades. The efforts of data content owners, data custodians and data stewards are critical to achieve the most accurate, complete and timely data possible. There is no question that all those efforts are essential. Yet, why do we invest all that time, resources, money, and technology? The answers can be summarized as we invest all that effort to have the best data available for all the business and analytical usages needed by our data consumers.
Most industry experts will say “data is the new currency and its value is in its usage.” The more we can use our data for diverse processes and analytics, the greater the potential for achieving substantial economic benefits from that data. No question here again. Yet, some data governance teams do not recognize that data consumers also have significant accountability and responsibility to help achieve the most accurate, complete, and timely data possible. This is a mistake. Let me explain why.
First, what are some of the general requirements of data consumers and how can data governance support those?
Generally, data consumers should be asking questions such as:
All great questions, right? Having the ability to answer to these questions drives the reasons why we invest in the data governance resources, processes, infrastructure, and solutions. To answer these questions, we may need to establish all of the following:
We must all recognize that data consumers are not just casual users of our data. Data consumers should be recognized in the data governance organization for the responsibilities and accountability they have. Data consumers should be recognized for formal responsibilities that include:
All data citizens are data consumers at some point in time. The data consumers that conduct reporting and analytics are critical contributors to bridge the gaps between operations and analytical usage of our data. It is those data consumers that have the greatest data usage requirements and need to define the quality “fit for purpose.” The data consumer role, and all individuals in the role, should be formally recognized as they have responsibilities and accountability for governing our data as noted above. It is important to recognize the data consumer’s contributions provided in our governance processes.
We accelerate trusted business outcomes by connecting the right data, insights, algorithms and people for all Data Citizens.
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