How to choose a data governance implementation strategy?

In this series of articles, we will discuss the various strategies that can be used to implement data governance. After having listed the reasons for which setting up data governance is important in the previous chapter, this next section describes the Top-Down and Bottom-Up approaches in detail. To conclude, we will look at a hybrid approach combining the advantages of the two.

Whether only to survive the ongoing digital transformation taking by storm their activity sector or for regulatory purposes, many organisations are facing the urgency to regain control over their data and to manage it as an asset, i.e. as a potential source of revenue.

To regain control over data, what you need is better management

Most companies, upon in-depth analysis, come to the conclusion that data management improvement, the aim of which is to transform data into sustainable competitive advantage, entails transformations that do not only have technological impacts, but also organizational and procedural ones.

Let us look at these 3 types of impact in detail:

To regain control over data, what you need is better management

Digital transformation leads to significant and multidimensional changes

Digital transformation thus leads to significant and multidimensional changes for companies that initiate it. Therefore, they must set up an appropriate effort coordination system that will ensure that these changes will not only bring about expected results, but also be sustainable.

And this is the role played by Data Governance, generally defined as “the orchestration of company resources to ensure that data is managed as an asset and that value is extracted from it“. Quite clearly, the set-up of data governance also requires, from the company, change management efforts, that add to those needed to transform their business activity.

Digital transformation thus creates, for companies embarking on such a journey, a paradoxical situation in which they find themselves having to transform to implement data governance that will in turn help them manage their business transformation. What this means is that data governance implementation success is critical and the way it is implemented is of primary importance.

Implementation details will of course depend on each company’s specific context. However, two types of approaches can be clearly distinguished: the “Top down” and the “Bottom up” approaches. In my next article, I will take a closer look at these and also suggest a 3rd approach that combines the best of the two. To be continued…


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About the author

Julien Tagnon
Data management