Select Solution That Can Handle Any Data Governance Approach You Use

Select Solution That Can Handle Any Data Governance Approach You Use

StockSnap_FXT5LMDCVE_SmallHouses_DifferentApproaches_BPThis post outlines different approaches to data governance and data intelligence and demonstrates how the Data Cookbook solution by IData supports these approaches to data governance.  The approaches outlined in this post spotlight trust, agility, or compliance. In the first approach, the goal is to establish trust in reports and glossary definitions for a large data end user population. The goal in the second approach is to establish governance standards within a small team responsible for reporting and analytics. The third approach supports an organization charged with a mandate for data governance. Each of these three approaches supports specific goals identified by an organization at a certain point in time. Remember there is no wrong approach. Organizations should implement data governance programs that complement their resources and maturity.

Here is a more detailed look at each approach:

Approach 1 - Focus on trust
In the first approach, a large data end user population is conveniently served by approved definitions and reports. The goal is to assist data end users quickly locate approved definitions and reports using rich descriptive metadata. For an organization wanting to serve hundreds of data end users, an emphasis on descriptive metadata is a good choice. This type of end user is not interested in the details of how a definition or report gained its approved status, nor are they typically interested in technical metadata. They typically consume delivered reports and dashboards and do not combine data sets or draft reports themselves, hence technical metadata is less critical. These end users trust that the right people approved the material, and that reports are accurate. 

To enable this approach using the Data Cookbook, data stewards and data owners may emphasize business or descriptive metadata and de-emphasize technical metadata. For example, the glossary might include a group of related definitions that have nuanced shades of meaning. Defining these terms for hundreds of business users has inherent value. The same is true for data systems. Viewing a list of data systems that includes descriptions and owner contact information is valuable for these data end users; viewing the data schema for data systems is not valuable.  These users want to understand the reports they consume. They do not want to recreate or modify their reports, which would require technical metadata.

This approach benefits large organizations with several hundred employees who need descriptive metadata to navigate the data environment. Often in data environments at this scale, technical metadata is documented but not made widely available to data end users due to its complexity and the time it takes to make it easily accessible. The Data Cookbook workflows are pivotal to this approach, allowing the right people to provide input or approve at the right time. An audit trail allows tracking should a detailed question arise.

Approach 2 - Agility within a team
A small team of staff responsible for reporting and analytics uses the Data Cookbook in this approach to exclusively support their data management activity. The goal is to establish a single, comprehensive metadata repository that brings consistency and efficiency in the data they use and the reports they create. No effort is made to engage business users or establish data steward partnerships, either because team members lack time to manage these relationships or because business users are not engaged.  Data governance is rigorously practiced within the team, when the larger organization is not ready to support governance at the organizational level.

The team uses the Data Cookbook to extensively document the business and technical metadata for data management activities they control - including shelf-ready data stores, integrations, reports, or dashboard deliverables. All modules of the Data Cookbook support this goal. If the team has access to operational systems, they can use quality rules and reference data lists to monitor data quality before the operational data flows into their data stores. The team approves all the Data Cookbook content. In the future, should business partners wish to participate, the version capability allows business users to easily take ownership of any Data Cookbook content.

Approach 3 - Compliance
In this approach, an organization must comply with audits or other mandates to demonstrate that the organization's data is governed. External, top-down pressure forces data stewards and data system managers to act. Often an emphasis on definitions requires data steward approval and requires data owners to prove exactly where data, especially sensitive data, is located and how that data is controlled. The goal is to meet the mandate and monitor progress within each data domain. Willingness to act varies across the organization, making compliance tracking a big task. The Data Cookbook's workflow provides an audit trail. Workflow queues and other content reporting features allow monitoring.

Whatever data governance approach suits your organization, the Data Cookbook can support it. Workflow and the ability to version content offer flexibility should the approach change as your organization matures. The modular content areas allow you to work within the data domains that interest you. We hope that you found this blog post beneficial.

Data governance is critical for all organizations because it instills trust in data, improves decision making and helps people.  For successful data governance, a data governance solution like the Data Cookbook  provides the framework, processes and content that is required.  If you need help implementing data governance or data intelligence, remember that IData provides data governance services.  A data governance solution like the Data Cookbook can help in successful implementation of data governance at an organization thus improving data quality, trust in data, and decision-making.  Feel free to Contact Us.

(image credit:  StockSnap_FXT5LMDCVE_SmallHouses_DifferentApproaches_BP #1209)

Brenda Reeb
About the Author

Brenda is a consultant in data management, data governance, and the information needs of users. She has over 20 years' experience providing services and solutions in higher education. Brenda has designed and implemented data management policies, established workflows, and created metadata. She is an experienced advocate for data management at all levels of an organization.

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