Data Governance-related Questions to Answer

Data Governance-related Questions to Answer

StockSnap_KV6IATK4SM_DataInventoryQuestion_BP-1Data governance allows for better decision making.  But there are many questions related to data governance that should be answered.  Not all at once.  We thought we would gather questions mentioned in previous blog posts into one place.

Initiative Related Questions

  • What is the focus of data governance: Is it compliance? Operational guidance? Strategic decision making? Data quality? New system implementation? (Start with Why - view related video)
  • Who is the owner of the data governance initiative (executive team member)?
  • Who manages the initiative (data governance committee)?
  • When does the initiative (or the 1st phase) need to be done?
  • Do the information users at the organization trust the information that is provided to them? (View related blog post)
  • How will the status of the initiative be communicated out to others?
  • Does the organization know the annual cost for data governance for ROI purposes by knowing dedicated resources cost, data stewardship time, tool investment and actual time spent governing? (View related blog post)
  • Is there support from management for a data governance initiative? (see related blog post)
  • Is there appropriate investment in technology and other resources for a data governance initiative?
  • How will the data governance initiative be measured (successful or not)?
  • Has anything changed at the organization where a data governance initiative can now be successful? (View related blog post)
  • Has organization determined the importance and effectiveness of each data governance process (data quality rule set up, data request process, etc.)? (View related blog post)
  • How do the data governance goals fit into the organization goals or objectives?
  • Are there existing policies and procedures focused on the use and treatment of data?  If so, where are they.
  • Will the organization culture be receptive to data governance initiative?
  • What are the primary barriers to data governance success?
  • What will need to be address or overcome for the success of the data governance initiative?

Compliance Related Questions

  • Is organization compliant with CCPA? And if not, what needs to be done. (View related blog post)
  • Is organization compliant with GDPR?  And if not, what needs to be done. (View related blog post)
  • Are there any other acts or regulations that we need to be in compliant with?

People Related Questions (View related blog post)

  • Who owns each data area (and who understands)? (View related blog post)
  • Does your organization have formal data stewards?
  • How should our data stewards be organized?  Where should they be placed in the organization?
  • What are the principles and responsibilities for a data steward at the organization? (View related blog post)
  • Who is the functional data steward for each department? (View related blog post)
  • Who is the technical data steward for each department? (View related blog post)
  • Is there a description of each data governance role in the organization to aid the individual perform the role successfully? (View related blog post)
  • Has the organization’s staff been trained on the importance of data governance, data quality, data security and data privacy?
  • Who needs to approve rules or decisions that come from the data governance initiatives?  Who should be consulted before they are finalized?  Who should be informed before they are announced?
  • Are there specific departments or roles focused on data?
  • Does senior management, middle management, and others in the organization consider data as a strategic asset of the organization?

Data Quality Related Questions (View related blog post)

  • What data quality issues is the organization experiencing?
  • How can data quality be improved at the organization?
  • What does high data quality mean in each department, domain or data system?
  • What tools are in place or need to be in place regarding data quality (incident tracking, data governance, etc.)?
  • Who should be involved in assisting with improving data quality? Who is contacted when there is a data quality issue? (View related blog post)
  • What is in place now regarding data quality (program, previous assessments, training, tools, resources, etc.)?
  • What are the benefits of improved data quality?
  • What are the sources of data quality issues (data entry, imports, integration, etc.)? (View related blog post)
  • What training is necessary for staff to improve data quality and how should that training be delivered (online, face to face, mandatory, etc.)?
  • What staff communication is necessary in the area of data quality (initial, ongoing, yearly)? (View related blog post)
  • What is the timing of the data quality improvements necessary after looking at other priorities and resources?
  • What is the readiness of the organization to formalize the data quality activities?
  • Does the organization have a well understood data quality resolution process that is known to the necessary individuals?
  • How are data quality rules developed and approved?
  • How is data quality assessed?

Data Request Related Questions (View related blog post)

  • How are data requests handled at the organization?  Is the process known by those that need to make data requests?
  • What types of data requests is the organization receiving (internal and external)? (View related blog post)
  • Who is requesting information (internal and external)? (View related blog post)
  • Who is contacted when someone internal or external to the organization has a data request?
  • Does data request involve interaction with the requester and implementer?

Data Systems Inventory Related Questions (View related blog post)

  • Does organization have an inventory of all data systems and where data systems are located (such as cloud)? (View related blog post)
  • Does organization know who owns each data system?
  • Does organization know who monitors each data system (who to go to for assistance)?
  • Do external systems you share data with have privacy controls and a lawful basis to process the data?
  • What information is being stored in the data systems inventory (View related blog post)
  • What applications run against the data systems?
  • Who manages access to these applications?
  • What data systems does the organization own or license?
  • What technology/platform do these data systems utilize?
  • Who (which office or department) is responsible for payment for each data system?
  • Does data from one data system also reside in other data systems?
  • Who provides guidance for entering, viewing, and/or extracting data from these data systems?
  • What can be done with the data in these data systems? Who decides that? Who enforces these decisions?
  • How does data move between systems?

Data Governance Content Related Questions

  • What content is included in the organization’s data governance efforts and have they been put in priority order? (View related blog post)
  • What is the process for approving content?
  • Does organization have an accessible data dictionary? (View related blog post)
  • Does organization have an easy to find, updated business glossary? (View related blog post)
  • Does organization have a centralized knowledge base (of any kind) that is accessible to all stakeholders? 
  • Does organization have a documentation repository for reports, dashboards and extracts?
  • How are data definitions done at the organization?
  • How is reference data changed at the organization? (View related blog post)
  • What is the master set of values for a reference data set, and where is it stored?
  • Who is responsible for keeping reference data current?
  • Who needs to be notified when reference data changes are considered?
  • What other data is affected when reference data changes?

Security and Privacy Related Questions

  • How secure is the organization’s data?  How is the data protected?
  • Does the organization know what fields of information need to be kept private (limit access)?
  • Does the organization have a formal security policy?
  • Does the organization have a formal privacy policy?
  • Does the organization have a list of third parties that access the organization’s data? Are there data sharing agreements in place with these third parties?
  • Who has access to data?

Data Governance Solution Related Questions

  • What solution(s) (such as the Data Cookbook) will be used for data governance?
  • Who owns the management of the data governance solution(s)?
  • Who owns the training of the data governance solution(s)?
  • What training is available for the data governance solution(s)?

Reporting and Analytics Related Questions

  • What reporting/analytics tool(s) are being used at the organization?
  • What barriers is the organization experiencing in achieving successful reporting? (View related blog post)
  • What are the key reports and dashboards in the organization?
  • Does organization know who accesses these key reports and dashboards? Who are the report consumers?
  • Are these key reports documented including where the information comes from?
  • How effective is the training for the reporting / analytics tool(s)?
  • Which business rules govern report generation and data protection?
  • What does analytics (or will analytics) do for the organization?
  • Does organization have a well understood report request / change process?
  • How is the data displayed in all systems?

Data Related Questions

  • Does the organization have any data silos that need to be taken care of? (View related blog post)
  • Does the organization have any shadow systems that need to be taken care of? (View related blog post)
  • Does organization have a data retirement and destruction policy (delete, shredding, degaussing)?
  • How is the staff trained on the data?

Data Lineage Related Questions

  • Does organization have a system of record that receives data from another specialized tool?
  • What fields go from one system to the other?
  • What transformations, if any, occur during that transfer? What does the process entail?

Do you have any new questions you would like to add?  Wish you successful answering.

Hope this blog post was beneficial to you and your organization.  IData has a solution, the Data Cookbook, that can aid the employees and the organization in its data governance, 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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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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