Do I Really Need a Data Governance Policy?

It’s very rare that I’m able to give such a definite answer to a Data Governance question, more often than not my answer is usually ‘it depends’. Because so many aspects of Data Governance are nuanced and depend very much on your organisation’s objectives and what you hope to get out of implementing Data Governance.

In this case, however, the answer is yes. Yes, you absolutely do need a Data Governance policy. That is, if you want to effectively and efficiently implement Data Governance in your organisation. Which, of course, you do, otherwise what would be the point in doing it at all?

This is a lesson I learned the hard way. When I first started doing Data Governance, I would say in the first three or maybe four initiatives that I worked on, I didn’t have a Data Governance policy in place at all or not until it was too late. So, what I am really trying to tell you is learn by my mistakes! Make sure you have a Data Governance policy in place.

Learn from my mistakes

Now, the reason for this is mainly because without it, you’re implementing Data Governance on a best endeavours’ basis. You’re hoping that you can influence some people and enthuse them to start doing Data Governance. And, I can tell you from my experience, that sooner or later, you’re going to end up talking to somebody that says, “Do I really have to do this?”

And this is exactly what happened to me. In my very early days in Data Governance, someone came to me and said: “Well it was all very nice Nicola and it was good while it was working, but that was flavour of the month and we’ve decided not to do that anymore.” You do not want that to happen to you.

They might not be a deliberately obstructive person. But they’ll be saying this because just like most of us they have so much going on that they don’t have time to do everything and if they don’t have to do Data Governance, then they won’t. It’s an easy one to drop off the bottom of their to-do list. So, if you have a Data Governance policy in place, it sends out a very clear message that senior stakeholders in your company have said that you are going to manage your data properly.

Remember you’re doing this for all the right reasons 

Data Governance is something that can deliver such fabulous benefits to your organisation. You do not want your initiative stopped because you didn’t take the time to get a Data Governance Policy in place very early on, so I really would encourage you to do that.

If I’ve managed to convince you that you need to write a Data Governance Policy but you are wondering where to start, you can get all the information you need and a simple approach in my new short online course: How To Write A Good Data Governance Policy.

Originally published on: www.nicolaaskham.com

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