A stakeholder is a person who holds a vested interest in the success of an initiative. Without their support, the initiative will not succeed. As a group, stakeholders are found at multiple administrative levels and within multiple departments. They have different goals, and they may never meet as a group. There are four types of stakeholders for data governance (or as we often call it, data intelligence): influencers, operational staff who daily perform data governance tasks, compliance and security experts, and data consumers. Take the time to write down the names of individual stakeholders, and slot them into one of these categories. This task will point out gaps, as well as providing a list of people to target with communication messages that address the goals of each stakeholder category. All organizations are different and thus the stakeholders will be different between organizations but this blog post will cover these types of stakeholders and keep their perspectives in mind.
An Influencer is a stakeholder who can sway the direction of programs and initiatives. As influencers, their job is to understand the scope of the work and communicate the goals of the initiative. They should understand, and be able to easily discuss, why goals were chosen, any obstacles or positive resources that impact the plan, and what the long-term and short-term vision looks like. As a stakeholder, they want to maintain or enhance their own reputation or the reputation of the organization through the success of this initiative. Usually influencers are in upper-level administrative positions such as vice president or a c-suite position.
An operational staff member is a stakeholder with expertise in data management in at least one data domain. They are data owners, data stewards, report writers, data quality managers, data architects, trainers for data users. In short, these staff hold a role that recognizes data-related expertise. As stakeholders, they value ease and efficiency. They want a clear path to escalate problems and they want input on fixing problems. They are usually managers and directors, or possess specialized expertise in data architecture or analytics, reporting services, training, or data consumer services.
A compliance or security expert is a stakeholder who safeguards data and promotes responsible data usage. They want to avoid legal issues and audit snafus. They also want the organization to meet the requirements of external government or accreditation organizations. Usually, compliance experts are directors or managers in data security and external compliance.
A data consumer is a stakeholder who uses the organization’s data and information to make decisions. This stakeholder group is usually the largest in number and they are found at all levels of an organization. As stakeholders, they value convenience, accurate trusted data, and ease of use.
Taking time to identify stakeholders for a data governance initiative will ensure success. The scope of a data governance initiative will impact the number of stakeholders needed. If the initiative will scale across the entire organization, it is critical to have influencers and operational staff stakeholders who represent over half of all business units. It is not necessary to have all business units represented. At least one compliance expert should be willing to support increased data access and usage. Lastly, there should be support staff who monitor the satisfaction of data consumer stakeholders. If the initiative is smaller, more on the scale of a pilot effort, the main stakeholder type to cultivate is operational staff contained within a single department such as an analytics team or a centralized reporting unit. The person who administratively leads the unit is sufficient as an influencer stakeholder.
Stakeholders have different perspectives that must be taken into consideration. During the data governance assessment and planning phase, use these perspectives to help set the data governance scope and prioritization. And keep in mind the different perspectives while continuing the data governance momentum. You need data governance-related communication to avoid misunderstanding as well as cultivating data governance buy-in and support. People are more likely to be mindful of data governance if they had a say in discussing the problem, working on improvement and understanding the reasons for any changes. Hope you found this blog post helpful.
Our library of data governance related resources can be found here.
If you need help in implementing data governance or data intelligence, remember that IData provides data governance services. A data governance solution like the Data Cookbook can help in successful implementation of data governance at an organization and improving data quality. Feel free to .
(image credit:StockSnap_7U1ON2R0FY_PeopleGroup_Stakeholders_BP #1161)