SAP Data Governance

Getting Data Governance Up and Running

This is the latest article in an ongoing series on Data Governance sponsored by SAP.

Recapping our series so far:

Where Will Data Governance Live?

Where Data Governance LivesAfter you’ve dealt with some basic, design-level questions:

  • why govern master data at all (your program’s purpose and vision)
  • using a data governance maturity model to assess where you’re starting from
  • developing a strategic roadmap for data governance at your company
  • building on that roadmap to design your entire data governance program
  • when does it make sense to establish your data governance organization
  • sample organizational models you can adapt to your company

Then it’s time to start digging into the more pragmatic, implementation-level aspects and start getting your hands dirty.

One of the first questions that usually comes up is “where will data governance live”.  Where in the enterprise will the new data governance organization reside?

Make sure it’s in the business, not in IT.

This may not be a popular position, because the initial impetus for data governance may have come from IT, and IT may be pushing for the data governance organization to be part of IT.

But in order to be successful, the business needs to feel accountability for data governance, otherwise the complex issues of data ownership, data quality and data integrity will always be “someone else’s problem” (that is, IT’s problem).

Who’ll Pay For It?

Data Governance BenefitsThe next question that will inevitably come up is, who’ll pay for it. How will the new data governance organization be resourced and funded.

This is where the rubber really meets the road. You’ll see your previous efforts at getting executive sponsorship pay off here. This usually gets worked out behind closed doors, but you should have a proposal worked out ahead of time that everyone agrees to that you can bring to the table, so the executives involved have an easy meeting instead of a big fight on their hands.

The funding question is definitely influenced by the “where will data governance live” question, since it may be funded out of that group’s budget. But it’s also reasonable to do allocations or charge-backs from all of the parts of the enterprise that data governance is serving (usually the entire enterprise).

And make sure the funding is on a continuing basis, not just a one year commitment, since data governance itself is an ongoing activity, not just a one or two year process.

One thing that will help a lot in future budget battles is if the data governance team has a dedicated place to track all of the benefits (revenue increases, cost savings, compliance improvements, etc.) that it delivers, with the business group it worked with signing off, to help fend off the inevitable funding renewal difficulties. If you can point to $x million in increased revenue and $y million in cost savings, it will be much easier to win your annual budget renewal each year.

Remember, it’s always going to be – what have you done for me lately?

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Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Finding Funding for Data Governance | DATAVERSITY - 09/20/2011

    […] A recent article asks the question, who pays for data governance programs within a company? The article responds, “This is where the rubber really meets the road. You’ll see your previous efforts at getting executive sponsorship pay off here. This usually gets worked out behind closed doors, but you should have a proposal worked out ahead of time that everyone agrees to that you can bring to the table, so the executives involved have an easy meeting instead of a big fight on their hands.” […]

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