Oftentimes we are looking at a report and wondering is this using the correct data? Did someone look at it to verify? How are we calculating this KPI mentioned in the report? Then there are other situations where we wonder why we even created this report?
Most of the time, the person viewing a report is different from the person who is developing a report, who is different from the person defining the KPI, and still, someone else is building the data pipeline. For example, a technical steward knows what is in the schema much better than a business steward. Whereas a business steward can capture the purpose and calculation rules of a KPI often with more context. We decided to simplify the end-user experience by involving the right person at the right time for the right task. This ensures that everyone across the organization can trust the reports, metrics, and data that they use to make business decisions.
Our approach and the challenges
We had the best tool for the task at hand. Collibra Data Intelligence Cloud provides a single place to discover, understand and access data products such as data sets and reports. All we needed to add was the trust factor.
We started by identifying the three core pillars of Trusted Business Reporting. In order to get to trust, we must first establish a common language. We achieved this by capturing business terms, acronyms, measures, and KPIs in our internal Collibra platform. We also cataloged systems of record, transformation pipelines, and data sets in our data lake and added our report to Collibra so that everything was interconnected.
We then established stewardship and ownership and facilitated a certification process for selected assets. At the end of the certification review, a level (Bronze, Silver, Gold) is assigned. Bronze represents what we need, Silver is what we want and Gold is what we strive for. For us, Bronze means that the data set has a description, data elements, tables, and stewardship is established. It can then progress to Silver by adding sensitivity, a Data Domain, and so on. And the beauty of Collibra is that the requirements for each of the levels can be customized as your processes evolve over time.
How we designed our solution
Designing our solution in a technology-agnostic way was very important to us. No matter what our end users prefer as a reporting tool or data transformation technology, we wanted the solution to be able to accommodate it all. We wanted to ensure the requirements are applied consistently. The best way to ensure this is to determine the certification levels programmatically.
With these noble ambitions in mind, we started to design workflows with the guiding principle ‘Simplify to Delight’. We realized that an advanced workflow could be overwhelming for an end user and a headache for the Data Office to maintain. Our solution was to go back to the core pillars and identify the key players for each pillar.
As the processes started coming together, we faced another challenge. There were too many workflows, which started confusing everyone. Which one do I click and when? So we decided to map out the journey for everyone using a Dashboard aka landing page. Whether you are defining a KPI, getting one certified, creating a new data set or requesting a new report, if it is connected to the Trusted Business Reporting components, you will find it in the dashboard.
How the above certifications establish trust
There are many reasons for the lack of trust in reports or data which can be minimized by ensuring the common understanding of KPIs/metrics, documenting data owners and stewards, datasets and enabling the certification of reports. By automating the certification process, we are consistently applying the standards or policies across all assets. By involving the right players at the right time we are ensuring the content is relevant, accurate, trustworthy and curated.
The above certifications result in
- By capturing the business need that led to the creation of a data product, there is an enriched business context.
- With a catalog of data sources and data products, it is easy to find just the right product for your needs.
- Through certification, we establish trust.
- Governance is embedded into the business processes and is not an afterthought.
By leveraging Collibra as our system of engagement and capturing the data product lifecycle stages, we have created an enriched business context for our users. By embedding governance requirements into operational processes and engaging the right people for the right task at the right time, we ensure the use of trusted data to make business decisions. Remember that we view the people who create data sets and reports as Data Product Owners, in terms of Data Mesh principles. And we also recommend that Data Product Owners should follow the 8-Step Product Management Lifecycle in order to best manage their Data Products.
Now with the help of Collibra’s Trusted Business Reporting Solution, those Data Product Owners have tools at their fingertips to carry out many of these steps necessary to instill trust in their Data Products.