Nine Principles for Federated Data Governance

"Over the past year I have been privileged to see how data governance at a large international organization went from a de-funded program (in the wake of the economic melt-down) to become an active, increasingly influential business process. Focusing on delivering business value early and often, they started small and grew steadily. Now they are finding opportunities to influence culture and behavior more and more broadly as a success model for federated data governance.

Centered on a data governance office that works through a steering council, the sole full-time person dedicated to governing data works with a handful of key people to establish a lifecycle of activities for continually evolving data practices across business groups literally scattered around the world. This started from nine simple principles :
  1. Identify clear, actionable requirements

  2. Organize according to system change cycles

  3. Establish working teams for each system

  4. Establish Data Governance Roundtable

  5. Formulate Data Governance priorities

  6. Define roadmaps for adoption and validation

  7. Iterate according to business value and project priority

  8. Work according to “Fit-For-Use” criteria

  9. Initially focus on Reference Data and Taxonomies
These principles have guided the creation and launching of a people-centric process for governing federated data that achieves measurable improvements and changes in culture and behavior. One critical milestone was the first end-to-end completion of that process. Suddenly stakeholders saw exactly how governing data achieves results and how each of them contributes to that success.

As mentor, I have had a front-row seat as I support day-to-day activities and attend monthly steering council sessions. The really exciting part for me is that this organization is dedicated to community development, disaster relief and advocacy. I like to think I am playing a small role in solving world hunger and peace, or at least improving the data that makes this all possible. Over the next few posts I will be sharing how each of the nine principles listed above have contributed along the way. Together they form a pragmatic and effective approach for putting in place a living process for governing federated data that supports improving lives around the globe."

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