Do you have a data governance policy for your association? In this post, we'll discuss why data governance is important and what your policy should include.
You’ve found the data you want to analyze and have brought it into a data mart. You know how to use visualization software to turn the data into informative pictures. You know the kind of things you want to find out from your data.
Gartner estimates that poor data quality costs an average organization $13.5 million per year. Drivers of these costs include lack of a common language for business information, independent data maintenance, and multiple versions of the truth.
Sometimes when our clients begin a business intelligence initiative, they become more concerned about collecting new data to analyze, and focus less on the data that they already have. One reason this happens is that they don’t always know what data they do have. We often say that data is one of your association’s most valuable assets, and you want to treat it that way. Just like with cash, you need to monitor and manage it. Performing a data inventory is the first step to understanding your data and the state it is in. Because business intelligence is all about using data to make decisions and decisions are basically answers to question, it follows that a best practice is to determine what data you have available to answer your business questions.
When designing a data mart it's a good idea to follow a naming convention. Although this requires some thought in the design stage, it saves significant time when maintaining and enhancing the data mart with new data for analysis. Your current and future users will benefit and be in a position to use the data to deliver superior services to members and other stakeholders. Although there are a few system limitations to dictate the naming conventions you choose, careful consideration should be given to the naming due to the very important human factor. Here are a three tips to get started:
There is a long-running standoff between business users and IT over who owns the data. Does the data belong to a central department who controls, enters and accesses data? Or does data belong to everyone at your association and anyone can enter data? This argument will move to the forefront as business intelligence (BI) comes to your association.
Dark data? That doesn’t sound good. How can you determine if your association has any? Start with Gartner’s definition of dark data, “the information assets organizations collect, process and store during regular business activities, but generally fail to use for other purposes.” Your association undoubtedly has plenty, so how do you find the dark data with the most value and shed some light on it?
Now that your association realizes the importance of using data to make decisions, and has a firm grasp on your initial set of business questions, it’s time to plan how your data mart will be set up to support those initiatives. The data mart will likely be designed by your IT team or an experienced vendor, but it is still helpful for business users to understand the underlying concepts. Your technical resource is essentially constructing a safe place for a large asset to reside, so you’ll want to be involved at a high level.
Data governance is a cross-functional management activity that at its core recognizes data as an enterprise asset which is used to achieve strategic and operational goals. Data governance is also one of the most talked about, yet elusive, elements in the data management space. We know that governance is mission-critical in achieving an association’s desired data management goals. However, initializing and maintaining a successful data governance program can be challenging for many associations. Having a data governance program will position your association for success.
Microsoft will be releasing SQL Server 2014 on April 1st and they will do so knowing that SQL Server is the most installed database in the world. Additionally, the amount of data being collected worldwide and waiting to be processed (or currently being processed) is growing tenfold every five years. With such an enormous installation base, it is only a matter of time until customers adopt this version of SQL Server and take advantage of two of the most important new features targeted at addressing the massive amounts of data.