data governance

Data is a valuable asset for organizations, so one can imagine the significance of data governance. Implementing the strategy is a huge responsibility, regardless of the size and scale of the company. As the person handling the challenging task, you must understand the challenges and opportunities it entails. The project typically involves massive investment and thousands of work hours, so you need to invest extra effort to ensure a smooth and effective rollout. At the same time, you must also focus on maximizing the payoff. Fortunately, you can rely on a few measures to drive success for the initiative. Here are a few proven tips to make the most of a data governance strategy.

Engage stakeholders from the outset

An effective governance implementation involves several key stakeholders. Failing to identify and engage from the outset can topple the project. Conversely, bringing them on your side early empowers you with valuable business knowledge for a successful implementation. You must get input from individual stakeholders on their areas of responsibility. Also, keep them informed throughout the implementation and beyond because they may have suggestions for improving it. 

Communicate with your employees

Effective communication is a game-changer when putting a data governance plan in place. Bringing the employees on the same page should be a priority so that they can understand the what, why, and how of the plan. For example, inform them about the core objective of the project, such as managing regulatory requirements, opening up a new line of business, or sharing information across organizational silos. Also, set up a system to help employees communicate upward, as it lets them highlight their challenges. 

Establish a data lineage

Another measure to make the most of the data governance initiative is to establish a data lineage. You can leverage a tool to create a Data Mesh with visual analytics that let users evaluate and manage the risk of the changes they make. It works like a map defining the origin and transformation of data during its journey. Besides determining the impact of changes, a clear lineage makes the information assets more reliable. 

Start small and build up

Since data governance is a challenging undertaking, you must start small and build from there instead of going too far too soon. Leverage the learning curve by identifying key departments and targeting your first implementations there. You can gradually make it a company-wide process. Breaking the process limits the risks and makes you more confident about stepping into the next phase. 

Prioritize training

You cannot take a set-and-forget approach to data governance implementation because things are ever-evolving. Even as you rework your processes and standards, you cannot expect your employees to align with the changes effortlessly. Also, you cannot leave things to chance when it comes to legal or auditing requirements. Factor in budgets and timelines for employee training every time you change the governance strategy. 

Organizations need to do their bit to make the most of data governance, but it does not have to be a back-breaking process. You can follow these steps to maximize the benefits of the initiative.

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