Content Creation and Data Governance Adoption

Content Creation and Data Governance Adoption

We often hear that organizations were not able to get adoption of data governance or get people to use the knowledge base. In this blog post we will discuss how content creation is key to adoption of data governance and we will revisit the objectives of data governance.


IData is expert in data governance and data intelligence.  We are frequently told by someone at an organization that they have had trouble adopting data governance and getting people to use the knowledge base. We ask, what do you mean when you say that people are not using the knowledge base? And the most common answer we got is around content creation. Their data stewards and subject matter experts are not writing the glossary definitions, documenting reports, or curating valuable content that would provide the necessary information.

Some of these organizations have a clear plan and strategy on how they are implementing data governance. But some do not have a plan or strategy in place. We provide as much guidance as possible to them to help come up with a strategy that works. Check out our recorded webinar titled "Setting Goals and Developing a Roadmap for Data Governance". But the core point of that discussion is to understand the why. What are the goals that you are trying to do this for? Because data governance is work regardless of how you want to spin it. If you do data governance right, then it is super positive. You save a bunch of time and effort and money by having good documentation and good resources. But to get data governance content created takes effort. You need people to do work to create content, to write definitions, and to curate reports. And this content needs to be in a knowledge base (and preferably in a tool like the Data Cookbook).

Let’s revisit some of the common objectives for data governance:

  • Data literacy
  • Transparency
  • Accuracy, consistency, and trust
  • Enthusiasm for use of the data
  • Compliance and satisfying auditor requirements
  • Facilitating new reporting, business intelligence, data lake or data warehouse rollout or build
  • Policy or security needs
  • Faster reporting turnaround
  • Supporting self-service reporting

And to accomplish these objectives you need to have different types of data governance content. Like having a business glossary, having a data system inventory and data models, having documentation of reports and ETLs, tracking lineage, tracking data requests, tracking reference data, doing data quality issue reporting and resolution, and assessing data quality rules on different data systems and monitoring those. This is sort of the content that you want to capture.

When a client stated, "People aren't using it," and we say, "What are they not doing?", she responded “Well, they are not creating glossary definitions for documenting, curating, and documenting reports”. In this example, we want to be clear about what we are talking about. This is someone who has prioritized, for various reasons, that they want to have a relatively complete, or have a certain quantity or scope of glossary definitions in their glossary. Let us say you have 20 data stewards or data owners or data trustees, across different domains. And each one of them is asked to create 50 glossary definitions for the most important and critical terms within their organization. And what people find is they are not doing that. There are lots of reasons they might not be doing that. It is a hypothetical and very backward-looking ask. It is creating content that is maybe not tied to the goal. New definitions should be written when they are requested.

The other thing people tell us is that the are not getting documented are reports, dashboards and ETLs. We respond that initially only newly requested reports should be documented and then the most critical reports you have. New reports are easier to document while you are working on them. This documentation should include the purpose of this report and the glossary definitions of the things on the report. This is not automated content but human curation activity.

We hope that this blog post reminds you of the importance of data governance content creation and how it is created in the adoption of your data governance initiative. We strongly encourage you to take a customer service approach and just-in-time approach to data governance. And this content must be in an accessible knowledge base. Additional data governance resources (blog posts, videos, and recorded webinars) can be found at  If you would like to see other resources regarding data governance adoption and return on investment then access this blog post.

IData has a solution, the Data Cookbook, that can aid the employees and the organization in its data governance, data intelligence, data stewardship and data quality initiatives. IData also has experts that can assist with data governance, reporting, integration and other technology services on an as needed basis. Feel free to contact us and let us know how we can assist.

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Photo Credit:StockSnap_0SC0SETYWA_CreateContent_DG #B1226

Jim Walery
About the Author

Jim Walery is a marketing professional who has been providing marketing services to technology companies for over 20 years and specifically those in higher education since 2010. Jim assists in getting the word out about the community via a variety of channels. Jim is knowledgeable in social media, blogging, collateral creation and website content. He is Inbound Marketing certified by HubSpot. Jim holds a B.A. from University of California, Irvine and a M.A. from Webster University. Jim can be reached at jwalery[at]

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