Data Governance – Not Just a Buzzword

It all started at ABC Company's Monday morning management meeting…

“We’re having a lot of trouble managing our asset master data. It’s all being stored in different systems and it’s impossible to update. We should really clean up our data.”

“Great idea! We’ll hire a company to come in to clean it up and all our problems will be solved!”

“Brilliant. Let me know when it’s done so we can share the news with the executive team.”

But the problem wasn’t solved for ABC Company. Clean data is only as good as the future of that clean data. And without data governance (overall management of the availability, usability, integrity, and security of the data) you’ll be facing the same issues down the road. Can your organization afford to go through the same exercise every other year? Think of the lost time… the wasted resources… and the bad decisions made based on inaccurate data.  

Clean data actually is obtainable – if you approach it as a living organism. The life of your data depends on the accuracy and consistency of entries, processes for managing, the usability and access to it and the technology that enables it. And to extend the lifecycle of your data, you need to manage it well, even when it grows.

Enter Data Governance.

Clean, governed and centralized master data, including assets and article master data, are the center of efficiently run asset-intensive and retail/fashion enterprises. The companies doing it right are living and breathing their data – from its creation, through predictive analytics and the business decisions garnered from it.

What’s the secret? They realize the quality of the data depends upon ongoing governance. Organizations with multiple systems of records likely have different methods for entering or updating a data record. With each business unit or department responsible for different pieces of the data, there’s a high probability of issues with data consistency and accuracy. In a 2015 Gartner study, companies surveyed estimated that they were losing an average of $8.8 million annually because of issues with data quality. As the world continues to be increasingly more data-driven, that will only increase, with some experts saying it’s already as high as $14 million.

From Word to Reality

True data governance isn’t something that is implemented from the top-down. This isn’t just the CIO or determining how asset data will be entered and managed. These are the operations managers, maintenance supervisors, and reliability teams – all with their hands in the data every single day. All of these people are going to need to cohabitate in an organization’s data governance ecosystem, and though they may all have different priorities, centrally controlled maintenance-relevant asset data must remain consistent, up-to-date and accurate. That’s the benefit of a data governance solution.

Data governance strategy may be initially discussed in the corner office, but to take it from corporate buzzword to real-life requires an identification of the business value you’re looking to achieve, a focused strategy and strong processes resulting in best practices for the future.

Topics: EAM, Data Governance, Data Quality