The Front Office and Back Office of Data Governance

The Front Office and Back Office of Data Governance

StockSnap_FRU4Y0OBEY_workersarounddesk_frontback_BPA finished report that was requested or a published business glossary entry are examples of front office data governance-related deliverables. But there is a lot of work that goes into the creation of this report and business glossary entry. These are done by the data governance back office. For an organization to have a successful data governance front office (business glossary, data quality issue resolutions, etc.) they first need to have an excellent data governance back office. This blog post will provide examples and thoughts regarding data governance front office and back office.

There is a different mindset between the front office and the back office. Be aware of this. Make sure that your data users understand the data governance front office (which is often client or partner facing) and the data governance back office. Both offices need to be visible. And both offices are under the oversight of a data governance group or committee. The goals of both offices should be to have data that is trusted and understood. A pragmatic, just-in-time, customer service approach should be taken for the front and back offices of data governance.

Here are some examples of data governance front office activities:

  1. Portal that describes the data governance structure and operations at the organization
  2. Clear data policies that are easy to find
  3. Published business glossary including the ability to request new entries
  4. Data system inventory including the ability to request access to data system
  5. Way to request new reports and integrations
  6. Method to report a data quality issue
  7. Communication regarding the status of data governance efforts at the organization

A few front office thoughts:

  • The front office for data governance must be professional and consistent (branded properly).
  • Make your points of engagement easy to find and easy to use. For more information check out this Points of Engagement blog post.
  • Those involved in data governance must think like the person seeing the front office deliverable such as a report or business glossary.
  • On time delivery of data governance-related deliverables should be a goal which will aid in gaining trust.

Here are some examples of data governance back-office activities:

  1. Selection and administration of data governance tool
  2. Setting up a data steward matrix
  3. Creating a data governance training matrix, training materials and a data governance portal
  4. Training of data stewards and data users
  5. Setting up the points of engagements and their related processes
  6. Review and approval of data policies
  7. Creation and update of data system inventory including owners and access
  8. Setting up data quality rules and performing data quality assessments
  9. Monitoring and measurement of data governance-related activities

Some back-office thoughts:

  • Think process when it comes to the data governance back office.
  • A good back office has clarity on roles and responsibilities.
  • The data governance back office requires a coordinated effort and a central knowledgebase that is easy to use.

Remember to focus on the data governance back office first. Get the necessary people, technology, and processes in place. Then focus on the data governance front office. Make sure the data users have easy to find and use points of engagement. We hope that this post helps in your data governance initiative at your organization.

IData has experts who can assist organizations with implementing and maintaining data governance.  If you would like to see the Data Cookbook in action or need assistance in your data governance and data intelligence efforts feel free to
Contact Us.

Image credit  StockSnap_FRU4Y0OBEY_workersarounddesk_frontback_BP #1249

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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