Taking a Customer Service Approach to Data Governance and Data Intelligence

Taking a Customer Service Approach to Data Governance and Data Intelligence

StockSnap_LK46EHFEEF_CustomerServiceApproach_BPIn this blog post we will discuss that organizations should take a customer service and just-in-time approach to data governance and data intelligence. Your organization needs to realize that despite all the effort in creating data governance-related deliverables (report specifications, business glossary, data quality rules, etc.) that they do not accomplish anything until they are used. And you know that they will be used when they are requested.

Data governance usually fails at an organization due to:

  1. The data governance deliverables are never found by those who would benefit from them - maybe these deliverables existed or maybe they were never created.
  2. The data governance deliverables, though found, failed to deliver organizational improvements that justify the cost of producing them.

Let's start off with an assumption here. Your organization has limited resources and time to curate and create data intelligence content (functional definitions, technical definitions, reference data, data system, data policies, report specifications, data quality rules, etc.). You need to establish the fact that we do not have infinite time and infinite resources to build out this content.

This fact leads to the following questions:

  • How do we prioritize the content creation effort, and still be sure that we are supporting the necessary engagement to meet the goals?
  • How do we reach that balance with engagement to have enough data governance-related content or to provide the content in a timely fashion when it is needed?

This is what we call just-in-time data governance and having a customer service approach to data governance. Your organization should prioritize content creation based on requests. You want to have enough content so that there is a reasonable chance they may find something. It does not even have to be that much.

You want to have an easy process for someone who is looking for something and if they cannot find it, that they can submit a request which gets routed to the correct subject matter expert (data steward). And if that subject matter expert person is not already defined then that request gets routed to a data governance oversight group who then can find the appropriate person who will handle that request. And hopefully you can leverage that request resolution with the creation of data governance-related content that will be used in the future.

And this is a bit of a pivot for some organizations on how they think about data stewardship and data ownership. Some think of it as an accountability role, that the data stewards are the people who are going to approve things, and ultimately vote  thumb up or thumb down on things. And that may be true. You may have those roles, but that is not useful unless you also have the people whose roles are to author or curate or define or create content, and provide that expertise, or to act upon a request.  You want to have support and expertise instead of accountability in your data stewardship roles.

The point here of this customer service approach to data governance is to have as much content as you can create, but do not kill yourself. Do not wait for perfection to roll it out. Think of content as a continuous improvement project and to prioritize content creation based on requests.

For this customer service approach to data governance to be successful you need some training to your user community. Show them how they can make data governance-related requests (such as new report request, explanation of an existing report, data quality issue, or definition request). Show them the points of engagement that they should know about. Provide them confidence that if they submit a request that they will get a response.

This customer service approach to data governance empowers people as they have access to information about data and data-related content with the expectation that they are a contributor to the data governance knowledge base. A customer service approach is a people first mentality. Data governance should be centered around the people in the organization and about helping people. Helping people in the organization helps the organization. Data users contribute new requests and knowledge, while data stewards follow up on the requests and create new or improved data governance-related content. As content is improved, staff knowledge is improved, data quality is improved and trust in data is improved. Embedding data governance policies, standards, and definitions in the data users’ normal activities, reporting solutions and workflows guides their behavior.

Check out our webinar on the subject and here are some links to other blog posts related to customer service approach to data governance:

We hope you embrace this customer service approach to data governance and use just in time data governance at your organization. Important in this approach is to have points of engagement and having data stewards in place to handle the requests. The customer service approach to data governance encourages a collaboration between employees and provides a continuous improvement of data governance-related deliverables. If you would like additional resources (blog posts, recorded webinars, or videos) on data intelligence or data governance then click here.

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_LK46EHFEEF_CustomerServiceApproach_BP #B1229

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]idatainc.com.

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