Information Governance Data Talent

Why is “Information Governance” important to you.

Two words guaranteed to make most IT, operations people and yes, executives too, lose interest before you have even started.

Before I lose you too, here’s the 30 second version to keep you interested in reading on.

  • The consequences of incorrect information is at best re-issuing reports with an apology and at worst being sued with heavy penalties and possibly jail time.
  • Information has to be trusted to be useful. It also has a lifecycle. “Governance” are activities that ensure information’s trustworthiness through effective lifecycle management.
  • Without proper information governance, any BI initiative is building a house of cards.
  • Unfortunately Information Governance is the first casualty in budget pressed BI projects and is often the first cause of failed or sub standard BI outcomes.

That’s the what!

But Why is it important to you?

Do you value your reputation? Is accurate and current information important for you to make strategic or tactical decisions? Do your customers repeatedly question what you do with their information? Do you get multiple definitions of the same term or metric within your own organisation? Do you have rampant proliferation of Microsoft Excel (or any other loosely controlled self service BI platform) reports with multiple versions of the truth?

Chances are you’ve answered yes to 1 if not all questions. But where do you start?

Information Governance is the elephant in the room and you eat it one bite at a time.

As I mentioned earlier, information follows a lifecycle from generation or acquisition to disposal or archiving. Through this journey, information should be used, measured, managed and secured.

Unsurprisingly, trying to cater for these four areas can and is daunting. But, eat the elephant one bite at a time.

And here’s the how.

Start small! And this small start will give you momentum.

Get senior management or executive sponsorship. This sponsorship will maintain momentum.

Develop a framework, processes and tools around the four stages mentioned above.

Create a dedicated data steward role, if it’s feasible or add these responsibilities to the Business Intelligence team.

Finally, information governance is a shared responsibility and lead from the top. Just as there’s a chain of command in government, there’s a chain of command in the enterprise.

Information Governance is not glamorous, but ignore it and it can sink you.

In my next article, I will provide practical ways in helping you get started.

DataHub Writer: Neville de Sousa
Neville has 14 years experience in ETL, data warehousing, business intelligence, reporting, building predictive analytics competency, team building and mentoring. He’s a predictive analytics champion, loves building and mentoring power teams and a great believer of open source technologies to deliver tangible business outcomes. In addition to maintaining vigilance on the analytics market, he’s Technical Lead – Business Intelligence and Information Governance at Hunter Valley Coal Chain Coordinator.He’s also held roles at Hunter Valley Coal Chain Coordinator as Specialist Reporting and Analysis, Data Analyst and at IOOF as Business Systems Analyst and Business Services Manager. Neville holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Marketing from the University of Western Sydney and a Master of Commerce in Advanced Information Systems and Management from the University of New South Wales, Sydney..
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