The Rocky Data Horror Show – where the data is not what it seems

The Rocky Data Horror Show – where the data is not what it seems

Data shouldn’t be a wild and untamed thing, but sometimes it is just that – wild… and untamed. And unfortunately for our friend Tim, he’s about to find out just how wild and untamed data can be. As this is ‘The Rocky Data Horror Show’… where the data is not what it seems.

Our story begins on a very exciting day for Tim – his first day in his brand-new job. Tim has just been hired as the new Data Governance Manager at the Magical Wish Factory, which is a brilliant organisation at the start of its data governance journey.

The Magical Wish Factory has been introduced to data governance by the head of IT, Janet, who heard about it all at the annual conference of the Magical Creatures Association. Janet was really excited at the prospect of undertaking a data governance initiative at the Magical Wish Factory, after listening to a talk by Nicola Askham, The Data Governance Coach, about all the benefits at the conference.

The problem for Janet – and now Tim – is that Janet didn’t listen to everything The Data Governance Coach had to say. She only listened to the why and not the how, and unfortunately some mistakes have been made along the way – mistakes that Tim will now have to try and unravel.

The first issue Tim discovers is that everyone at the Magical Wish Factory believes that IT owns the data, and now that Janet has undertaken the beginnings of MWF’s data governance – it does! It’s now almost impossible to get business users to engage. They don’t like the data governance initiative as they feel that it is just one more thing that IT are “doing to them”!

Thankfully for Janet, Tim is quite experienced in data governance, and he knows how to overcome these issues because he’s read ‘The 9 biggest mistakes companies make when implementing data governance (and how to avoid them all)’ by The Data Governance Coach.

“The problem here Janet,” Tim explains “is that when stakeholders believe data governance is IT-led, it can be really hard to get them to buy into what you’re trying to achieve.”

“The key to data governance success is getting stakeholders to take ownership of their data and take the lead in data governance initiatives. You’ve been left with data governance because they’re confusing the infrastructure with the data. True data governance will only really happen once we get the business to take ownership of the data.”

“So, how do we get them to take ownership of their data then? I’ve been trying for months but no one seems to be listening. That’s why you’re here now, Tim.” replied Janet.

“Well, that’s the first step actually. I am still new here. So, I’m an impartial expert and can act as a catalyst for change. I will facilitate the discussions at senior level between the various parts of the business and this will help the business to understand the benefits and increase their desire to take ownership of the initiative.”

“Wouldn’t it just be easier if we just divided it up between us – I don’t think anyone is going to listen…,” said Janet.

“Quite simply, no,” said Tim.

Tim knows from experience that successful data governance needs a consistent message – everyone needs to understand why and what the organisation is trying to achieve. But he did agree that just one person couldn’t do Data Governance for the whole of the company.

“There are quite a few different roles and responsibilities needed when you are designing and implementing a data governance framework, why don’t we look at The Data Governance Coach’s blog, and see what Nicola has to say.”

Tim and Janet head to and stumble across one of her most recent blogs on the who’s-who of data governance. Tim explains that as well as his role of Data Governance Manager they need data owners, data stewards, data producers, data custodians and a possibly a chief data officer.

“We’re definitely going to need some buy-in to fill these roles” concedes Janet, “so where do we start?”

“At the beginning… with the culture…” replies Tim.

Stay tuned for episode 2 of The Data Governance Coach’s new series ‘The Rocky Horror Data Show’ and follow the adventures of Tim and Janet as they try to implement a successful data governance initiative at the Magical Wish Factory.

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