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March 22, 2012

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Collibra for Data Governance, by William McKnight

by Dan Power
collibra

Collibra recently briefed the Hub Designs MDM Think Tank.

Stan Christiaens, COO at Collibra sat down with the Hub Designs MDM Think Tank in early March to give us a briefing on Collibra’s Data Governance Software.

Collibra focuses on the data governance aspects of MDM.  It addresses the elements of governance in the vision presented below – organization, people/processes, documentation and operationalization.

Collibra Data Governance

The product provides a rich, configurable workflow system for routing a data record throughout the organization (and possibly beyond) to the point in which it becomes a master record and is stored in a relational database.

Collibra RACI Flow

At this point, Collibra integrates with IBM InfoSphere and Informatica Metadata Manager for operational distribution. The API can be leveraged for other integrations.

Collibra also provides a fully functional metadata management repository for the attributes under management.  This includes some really useful features around the stewardship function, which allows a Collibra implementation to be flexible to the organization’s needs.  As Stan said, “you need to understand the company before imposing organizational change.”

With a multi-layered and as-complex-as-necessary hierarchy of stewardship which Collibra calls a “communities hierarchy,” available stewards can be easily found for governance participation, data questions or the other data enrichment functions that stewards provide to their data.

Other cool features include profile pictures associated with the names in the dictionary and the ability to access the dictionary from anywhere.  Within an application like Word or Excel, you can hit a hotkey and see the full dictionary representation of the element.  This includes the source system, fact types, derived fact types, rules, roles, taxonomies, definition and record status.  Data Governance, according to Stan, is “making people do the right thing.”  The more you think about this simple definition, the more accurate it seems to become.  And Collibra is creating information sharing at the business level, circumventing much of the semantic gap between IT and business areas.

Although there is much to data governance beyond the toolset, tools like Collibra can certainly facilitate getting a data governance program off the ground.  Data governance tools like Collibra are on the periphery of a required toolset in organizations employing MDM.  It’s like purchasing a faster utility for a DBMS.  The base DBMS utility has the functionality, but does it have enough for your need?  It will be interesting to watch this niche market to see how it evolves in the MDM ecosytem.

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