by Angela Guess
Mark Brunelli recently reported on a panel from last week’s Enterprise Data World Conference on data governance best practices, roles, and responsibilities. Brunelli notes, “Setting up a data governance organization — and getting the executive buy-in necessary to keep it running — means that sooner or later the time will come to demonstrate the business value of data governance to company leaders. But putting dollar signs on things like improved data quality and de-duplication isn’t always easy, and getting the job done can require some real creativity.”
Brunelli continues, “Sometimes the justification for a data governance program is clear-cut: Poor data quality is leading to a disastrous online experience for customers. But other times the process of identifying the business problems and quantifying their cost to the organization can get murky, said panelist Michele Koch, the director of enterprise data management and the data governance office at Sallie Mae.”
He goes on, “A good way to identify business problems and ultimately arrive at their cost is to start by using the ‘five whys’ approach, she said. That means asking business workers to describe their biggest pain points when it comes to data quality. For example, the problem could be an application or system failing to deliver reliable results. Then ask the business users why it is a problem for them. Next, ask why the organization should address the problem, and so on. Eventually, Koch said, you will arrive at a deeper issue that directly affects the bottom line. For example: Poor data quality is leading to a disastrous online shopping experience, and X amount of revenue is being lost each month.”
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