Don't Use Committees for Data Governance Content

Don't Use Committees for Data Governance Content

Is your data governance (or data intelligence) content (report requests, data dumps, data definitions, etc.) taking too long to produce or does not seem to be as effective as they should be?  Content is like a continual series of trains. Each must leave the crowded station on time to make room for the next one or the network quickly grinds to a halt.  Are you using a committee for content review?  In this post we’ll suggest a better way (non-committee) and provide actions to improve the content creation.


Group collaboration organizations (such as higher education institutions) has drawbacks when it comes to data governance. Soliciting opinions from a wide range of people not only fails to produce effective content – it’s also counterproductive and costly.  A committee or a team of reviewers is likely to produce a neutered piece of content filled with technical jargon and disparate styles.  Content deadlines are not met due to death by track changes or someone not completing their review.

People are key in data governance.  Institutions need to place content experts in charge of reviewing or approving governance related content – not committees.  Every workday, hopefully those involved with data are submitting requests for reports, asking questions and reporting data quality issues.  Don’t have too many cooks in the kitchen.  You need one great cook for that meal or one great data steward for that data issue or content piece.

Actions - How do we reach a more productive, more effective state of data governance content review?  Here are a few suggested actions:

  • A first step is for the institution to acknowledge that the purpose of data governance related content isn’t to obtain everyone’s buy-in, it’s to drive better decision making and greater effectiveness.
  • As we have said before, data stewardship needs to be established. A data steward will know when the data governance content is good or if it needs others to review.  An open-ended, multi-reviewer process rarely results in timely, effective content.  A stakeholder who is slow to review content is not deeply invested in the outcome or hasn’t bought into the process.  Once stakeholders align on the purpose of the content, then the execution should be left up to the data steward.  Engaging with the fewest number of subject matter experts, managers, or other approvers is a difference maker.
  • Keep the content creation and review process simple. Transform your content review process with the following:
    1. Alignment - Obtain each stakeholder’s input and buy-in to both the content brief and the outline. Don’t introduce new stakeholders into the review process unless necessary.
    2. Execution - Explain that for purposes of streamlining the process, further input will come from one primary stakeholder, legal if necessary, and one subject matter expert as needed.
    3. Delivery – After content is completed and delivered, determine if stakeholder would like something different for similar content in the future or discuss if review process can be improved.

Streamlining the review process will improve the quality and timeliness of the data governance content.  Committee content review is probably costing time and money.  Empower data stewards to be the content reviewers.

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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(image credit StockSnap_GVUWVKUHZE_content_committee_BP #1103)

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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