Data Governance Building Blocks

In Data Governance, Data Management by IRM UKLeave a Comment

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

In order to have a successful Enterprise Information Management (EIM) and data management program companies need to ensure that they are properly executing the fundamental building blocks of these initiatives. The basic building blocks of EIM are Metadata Management, Data Governance and the EIM Organization.

Dr. David P. Marco, President, EWSolutions
David will be speaking at the IRM UK Virtual Data Governance & Master Data Management Conference 15-17 November 2021. He will be speaking on the subject, ‘The First 11 Steps to Starting a World-Class Enterprise Data Stewardship & Governance Program.’

The conferences are co-located with the Virtual Enterprise Data & Business Intelligence and Analytics Conference Europe 15-17 November 2021

Understanding Data Governance

Data Governance: defines the people, processes, framework and organization necessary to ensure that an organization’s information assets (data and metadata) are formally, properly, proactively and efficiently managed throughout the enterprise to secure its trust, accountability, meaning and accuracy.

In general, governance means establishing and enforcing the processes for how a group agrees to work together. Specifically, data governance services are the establishment of:

  • Chains of responsibility to empower people around an organization’s data
  • Measurement to gauge effectiveness of the activities
  • Policies to guide the organization to meet its goals
  • Control mechanisms to ensure compliance with regulations and law
  • Communication to keep all required parties informed

At the highest level, data governance is concerned with the management of data – its availability, currency, usefulness, accuracy and relationships with other enterprise data. 

Data governance requires a great deal of training and education. It is not an IT function, although many technical products and tools are used to administer governance. Data governance is a business responsibility, shared with IT but “owned” by the business entity and instituted across the enterprise.  Like any other enterprise effort, successful data governance involves people, processes, tools, standards and activities that are managed at both strategic and operational levels.  And, like any other successful enterprise initiative, data governance starts with a vision, which is communicated and sustained by the enterprise.

Data Stewardship: The process of having data stewards work with the data and metadata of an organization to ensure its quality, accuracy, formats, domain values, and that it is properly defined and understood across the enterprise.

Data Stewardship’s role is to ensure organizational data and metadata meet quality, accuracy, format and value criteria; ensuring that data is properly defined and understood (standardized) across the enterprise.

Data Stewards: A person(s) responsible for working with the data and metadata. The data steward acts as the conduit between IT and the business.  The data steward (which is often not just one person, but a collection of people) align the business needs with the IT systems supporting them (both decision support and operational).  The data steward has the challenge of guaranteeing that one of the corporation’s most critical assets–its data and metadata–is being used to its fullest capacity. 

Some people may say that their company does not have any data stewards, but this is not true.   Every company has data stewards.  There is always someone within the company to whom people turn with questions about what the data means.  This person is the data steward, even if he or she doesn’t have the title.

Your company’s size, organization, and industry dictate how much effort you will need to place in data governance.  Industries we have found to require greater data stewardship include pharmaceutical, certain government organizations (e.g., intelligence, military, energy), insurance, banking, and security brokers and investment advice.

Having had the opportunity to form several data stewardship organizations, we can attest that no two data stewardship groups are exactly the same.  The Data Stewardship Framework provides guidelines for how these groups are formed.  This framework is designed to provide corporations and government entities with the strategies and guidelines necessary to implement a highly successful data stewardship organization.

Best known as the world’s foremost authority on data governance and data literacy, he is an internationally recognized expert in the fields of data management, data literacy, advanced analytics, data warehouse, business intelligence, metadata management and data stewardship. In 2004 David Marco was named the “Melvil Dewey of Metadata” by Crain’s Chicago Business as he was selected to their very prestigious “Top 40 Under 40” list and was named by DePaul University as one of their “Top 14 Alumni Under 40”. In 2008 David Marco earned the DAMA Data Management Professional Achievement Award. In 2020 he was awarded the title of Professional Fellow from the Institute of Information Management (their highest honor). He is the president of and is their lead contributor. David Marco is the author of the widely acclaimed, 2 top-selling books in metadata management history, “Universal Meta Data Models” and “Building and Managing the Meta Data Repository” (available in multiple languages). In addition, he is a coauthor for multiple books and published hundreds of articles some of which have been translated into Mandarin, Russian, Portuguese and others. He is the President of

Connect with Marco on LinkedIn:

Copyright Dr. David P. Marco, President, EWSolutions

Read more from IRMConnects and subscribe to the monthly newsletter here.

Leave a Comment