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What is data governance? I’m sure we can all agree it is at least concerned with finding common definitions and at most with enterprise governance. Yet a quick search reveals that a wide range of definitions for data governance exists. An extremely valuable body of knowledge such as the Data Management Body of Knowledge (DMBOK) and various maturity models have empowered data management professionals to shape data governance strategically and operationally in complex organizations. Yet if we want all employees to be aware and eventually participate in data governance, then we need to translate this expert knowledge into something much simpler. I do not claim that I will provide all the answers in this post, but I will at least attempt to unleash a new debate for data democratization.
As a scientist, my first attempt at defining something starts by excluding what it is certainly not or what is misleading about the definition. And what I’ve found is that many people misinterpret data governance. Last week, I attended the Association for Institutional Research (AIR) Forum and observed (again) data governance is commonly misunderstood. The Institutional Research community is traditionally not as exposed to the topic of data governance as frequently as the financial services or healthcare industries. Yet, it is a true ‘business’ community with members of academic affairs and institutions. These are data citizens who are dealing with the same problems we do.
Let’s look at five misconceptions of data governance that I often see, and why they are problematic.
Collibra aims to achieve these core values of transparency, participation, and trust by building a non-intrusive user experience in its platform applications, specifically through a data helpdesk. In addition, through Collibra University’s learning and certification program, users gain the confidence of, ’We can definitely do this!’
We’ve looked at what data governance is not, but what, then, is data governance? Data governance is about people. It is about reducing a steep learning curve so you can answer the right data questions, and be appropriately involved in the process of clarifying the answers. Data governance enables all data citizens to have a holistic lens on their ever-expanding data universe.
Again, the scientist in me sees two complementary approaches which I believe can help you draft your data questions: ‘understand and explain’ and ‘monitor and predict’.
The first approach will provide an organizational understanding and set of explanations for your data universe in terms of:
The second approach is to begin to monitor and predict the future impact of your processes around finding the above explanations for a wide variety of applications such as regulatory compliance, report certification and watermarking, helpdesk and issue management, data access and usage agreements, and many more.
In order to realize these ambitions, the data community needs a collaboration platform made up of three tiers:
Collibra checks all the boxes. Organizations across a variety of industries use the Collibra platform for data governance. With our purpose-built platform, you can activate one or more of our best practice data governance operating models that come out-of-the-box. Our Center of Excellence continuously publishes new models derived from successful industry cases. Collibra University envisions to build capacity through this knowledge that inspires strategic decisions and develops trustworthy practices in the data profession and citizenship. Take a look, for example at Collibra University’s course offering on Report Certification and Watermarking or Data Sharing Agreements.
Ultimately, the Collibra platform bridges the void between technology and data leadership, joining the power centers within the organization. The Chief Data Officer (CDO) is the new leader in this data democracy and answers the call of many data citizens who have realized the way data is being handled needs to change dramatically. Management schools echo this call by not only justifying this new role, but also investigating how different types of CDOs become invaluable to organizations.
It’s clear we are at the forefront of a data revolution. Data consumers have had enough of the non-transparency or non-involvement in the very data (reports) they use to do their job. Now that a new call for leadership surges, the CDO can feed the momentum by providing a truly collaborative platform and change the way business is done.
Join our data revolution!
Pieter leads the company’s Research & Education group, including Collibra University, an online learning platform for data governance and data science education.
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