2/15/2012

Data Governance

I did reports back in 1996 when doing reports was the red headed stepchild of the programmer world.

Nobody I knew did reports, there were no books at Barnes and Nobles to read.

While on a weekend trip to Atlanta, I managed to find an obscure book Crystal Reports for Dummies and purchased it on a whim.

When I got back my boss at the time reimbursed me for the book as they were hard to find.

Fast forward 15 years, data and reporting is HOT.

Today we had our first meeting to discuss the implementation of a Data Governance board.

The boards mission is to ensure the new data warehouse has standards and process around it to ensure data quality.

Because as we all know, incorrect reports are not only bad, they are worse than bad because they portray an inaccurate picture of reality.

So once we establish the basic rules and who does what when, we will be on our way towards accountability and transparency, the golden rule for Business Intelligence.

To be honest I'm thrilled that data and reporting is out in the open in the mainstream.

The facts are hiding in the data and reporting will set that information free.

It's crucial that we have process' in place to ensure accurate data.

Because we need to have a single source of the truth.

The IT department does not own the data.

We house the hardware and software and database that receive and store the data, but we are not the 'owners'.

The business units own the data and they are responsible for its accuracy.

We are the stewards.

I enjoy hiking in the woods.  In some remote area I like to lift up a fallen log that's been sitting for a long time.  And watching the critters scurry when exposed to the sunlight.

So too, the data must be exposed, even if that uncovers shoddy practices, undocumented business rules, fudged numbers, etc.

I feel that implementing Data Governance is the first step in the right direction.

Stay tuned!

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