One of my favorite sessions at last week’s DataFlux IDEAS 2011 conference was The Fundamentals of Data Governance training class taught by Carol Newcomb, which, as its title promised, provided an excellent overview of the fundamentals, including what data governance is and what it is not.
Data Governance IS NOT:
- Temporary and project-focused
- Dedicated to a single organization or immediate departmental objectives
- A series of meetings with no clear outcomes
- Heterogenous tools lumped into one overarching master data program
- IT making decisions on behalf of the business
Data Governance IS:
- Long-term investment to support the reliable delivery of data to support business objectives
- Formal organization with specialized skills and rules of engagement to establish data policies
- Set of best practices to enable reliable data access and usage by business stakeholders
- Full lifecycle to ensure timely and accurate data definitions, quality, access, and maintenance
- Business-driven to support sharing and compatibility of data across regions and business units
“Data governance can be disruptive,” Carol concluded, “but in a positive way if people recognize the end goal and ultimate business value.” Of course I agree with Carol, but I was wondering if there was a word that we could use to describe the positive disruptiveness of data governance . . .
Via Twitter, Lisa Dodson asked whether data governance was MDM’s Fahrvergnügen, noting that “you could do MDM without data governance, but it sure would be more enjoyable with it.”
Fahrvergnügen was a German term used in Volkswagen television commercials in 1990, which translated into English as “driving enjoyment” (fahren = “to drive” and Vergnügen = “enjoyment”).
Since I have previously blogged about delivering data happiness, I responded that data governance provides the framework for Datenvergnügen (i.e., “data enjoyment”), which not only makes MDM and data quality initiatives more enjoyable, but also far more successful and sustainable.
Combining the ideas of Carol and Lisa, I propose that we start using Datenvergnügen as the term for the positive disruptiveness of data governance, which delivers data happiness to the organization.
At the very least, Datenvergnügen is more fun to say than Data Governance