What's Included in a Data Governance Assessment

What's Included in a Data Governance Assessment

StockSnap_DUXISHKTT3_group_assessment_BPBefore you can do a data governance (or as we call it data intelligence) roadmap you need to do an assessment. But what is included in this assessment? In this blog we will cover that and what should be in the roadmap. You goal is to provide the organization with an informed, objective, and documented assessment of the data governance status at the organization. You want to uncover the strengths and weaknesses before you create the plan or roadmap. During the assessment you will gain knowledge and understanding of data governance that will prove beneficial to the organization. The assessment will provide you with an understanding on what portions of the initiative will be easier or harder to do which will affect when they will be done. You will want this assessment to be available to anyone that needs to have access to it.

There are many components to data governance (data quality, business glossary, data system inventory, report specifications, data definitions, data stewardship, etc.) so the assessment needs to clarify the current state of the various components and which ones are causing the most grief in the organization. You gather a great amount of information by doing interviews and listening to staff members who use the data.  So, what is included in an assessment.

First, you need to create a high-level assessment summary document. This should be no longer than 3 pages in length. In this summary are key goals (the measures of success), the best practices (for example, business glossary then data catalog) to be implemented (including content and processes) and the prioritized schedule for implementation (this should be a graphic so that it is easy to see when the implementation will occur and end).

Second, after you have the summary document, you start getting more into the roadmap. The roll-out plan should be documented for each best practice mentioned in the summary document. You need to cover the organizational scope (such as what departments are involved). Probably not a wise idea to do the whole organization initially. And then cover the data system scope (which data systems are initially involved). Again, not a wise idea to do all the data systems initially. Lastly in the high-level, document the immediate pilot implementation.

Now that the high-level is done, focus on lower-level details for the current state of data governance at the organization. Break this down by the following:
  • Data Systems (which ones and who deals with these data systems)
  • Reporting Tools (which ones are involved but this is not an assessment of the report tools effectiveness)
  • Organizational Resources
  • Existing Data Governance Assets (people, processes and content that exists now)
  • Identified Issues and Themes (gathered from interviewing and listening to people)

Next lower-level details to work on is those about the best practices including:

  • Description of the Best Practice (deeper than mentioned in summary document)
  • Desired Outcome and Goal for This Best Practice
  • Roll-out Phases
  • Justification Information from Assessment (such as gathered from interviews)
  • How to Measure Best Practice Success (such as report creation time improved by 20%)

During the assessment you will be asking many questions. Feel free to review our blog post on data governance related questions. Some of the questions could be:

  • What are the current business initiatives (or goals) being worked on?
  • For this <insert best practice>, what are we presenting doing?
  • For this <insert best practice>, what can we improve?

If you need additional resources regarding an assessment and a road map, check out Aaron Walker’s blog post titled “Planning a Route on Your Data Governance Road Map”. Also, if you want to learn more about the purpose of a DG assessment then check out either this blog post or this video. Or watch our recorded webinar titled “Setting Goals and Creating Your Data Governance Roadmap".

An assessment should identify the objectives by understanding the current pain points you are having. And it will assist staff in understanding the problem. The assessment summary document is something that you will be referring to in the future so that you stay on track. From the assessment you will be able to work on the data governance roadmap. The roadmap should be actionable. Hope that his blog helps you along your data governance journey.

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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Photo Credit:  StockSnap_DUXISHKTT3_group_assessment_BP #B1150

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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