Business leadership must own and drive high-level data decisions, while IT should focus on implementing those decisions and providing technical advice and counsel.
One of my clients did a great job of handling this. The company had one very senior executive who declared ownership for a subject area and was able to make significant progress standardizing his data and its usage. He found that since he adopted this approach, both IT and business users would actually seek out his governance function to get things done.
As the CIO and CTO team up, they have to first gain business engagement (not just support) and then set expectations. They must communicate that good data strategy, data management and governance are ongoing efforts. They should then prioritize data capabilities and required outcomes, striking agreements with the business on key measures.
Establishing a good communication strategy is key to engaging the organization and helping people understand their roles. They’ll also need to implement an oversight model that scales to their capabilities. The last step (and potentially toughest one, politically) will be holding people accountable for their data decisions and actions.
Paul Bergamo is a general partner at NewVantage Partners. Reach him at [email protected].
That made analysis challenging, since there were often different versions of the truth. Simply getting data to flow between systems was an issue, and it was evident that we needed to fix our data and develop a better way to manage it. An MDM plan looked to be the best approach.
Our approach to creating a solid MDM strategy involved 1) defining business processes, 2) understanding data integration points, 3) data cleansing and 4) ongoing governance.
Defining the business processes involved establishing a cross-functional team of key business and IT individuals who documented the processes that create and touch data. This team also established the data definitions that would be the standard throughout the company. An extensive (and time-consuming) data-cleansing effort uncovered inadequacies in certain applications that had to be fixed in order to maintain an MDM strategy. Finally, we developed a governance methodology with an IT steering committee that made the calls on any changes.
This effort created an IT environment that was easier to manage and more responsive to change as the company grew. Arguments over what analysis was accurate were no longer an issue. There was one version of the truth.
Jesus Arriaga is president of CIO Strategic Solutions. Reach him at [email protected].