Purpose of a Data Governance Assessment

Purpose of a Data Governance Assessment

In this blog post we will discuss the purpose of a data governance (or data intelligence) initiative assessment so that you can create a plan. First, you will need to assess your current situation around data governance. You need to determine what is currently working, what is currently not working and barriers. During the assessment you determine the resources you need to be put together an actual data governance initiative plan in place.


Let us go into more detail on the purpose of a data governance assessment:

  • Understand your current state of data governance – Find out what has been you done so far
  • Determine what barriers there are for effective use of data – Talk to folks and get the barriers down in writing
  • Identify and define real outcomes and goals – We will discuss this in more detail later in this blog post
  • Understand your current data environment – At a high-level determine what tools and systems are being used. Check out our video on understanding your data environment
  • Understand your current data business processes - How are people asking for a new report? If they see a data quality issue, do they know who to contact? When they have a question such as data system access, how do they get the answer? Link to our blog post on the subject
  • Identify organizational support – Determine who should be participating in governance and who is a good candidate for being a data steward. Also determine who may not be feasible to be part of the initial data governance initiative group because they do not have the capacity or are not interested in it right now.
  • Educate and build buy-in – Talk to people and make sure that they feel they are heard. Educate them on the value of data governance and what is being done. Help to build organizational support that you will need down the road. See our blog post about buy-in
  • Build and provide accurate information for further planning

Now, let us discuss real outcomes in more detail. We are not talking about just data governance outcomes such as we are going to build a business glossary and that business glossary is going to have a thousand definitions in it. Start with why and create the real outcome such as:

  • We have a lack of understanding of the data and to do this we need to build a business glossary and data catalog that people will use to understand the data.
  • We need to reduce the amount of data related questions to our support staff and to do this we need to improve our self-service which includes access to data requests, specifications, business glossary definitions, etc.
  • We need a faster turnaround on report creation and to do this we need to implement a data request process which will speed up and improve report creation.
  • We need to improve data quality in certain data systems, so to do this we need to implement a data quality resolution workflow with empowered data stewards who can resolve quality issues quickly.

It is good to measure and get the actual output of our data governance process, but you need to understand and identify what those real outcomes and goals are that you are trying to do. Understanding your data governance purpose is critical in creating a data governance assessment which leads to a data governance plan with actions. Hope this blog post assists you in your assessment.  All of our data governance related resources (blog posts, videos, recorded webinars, etc.) can be accessed from our data governance resources page.

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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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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