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Kelle O'Neal

Thanks for joining our data conversation! This blog is an opportunity to share the real life challenges, opportunities and approaches to improving the quality and value of data in your organization. We will write about everything data related from translating "data" speak into "business" speak, to governance models, to the real differences among the myriad software tools available. But there's one catch: we all have to agree to toss out the fluff. That's right, no 30,000 foot, theoretical strategies that leave you wondering how to execute and actually improve performance. Visit regularly to learn from peers and partners on how they are managing and improving data, and we hope you'll also share your views and experiences.

About the author >

As Founder and Managing Partner of First San Francisco Partners, Kelle O’Neal manages specialist data governance and data management consulting services to complex organizations that deliver faster time to results. Kelle can be reached at kelle@firstsanfranciscopartners.com or through the First San Francisco Partners website.

Follow First San Francisco Partners on Twitter at @1stSanFrancsico.

Editor's Note: Find more articles and resources in Kelle's BeyeNETWORK Expert Channel. Be sure to visit today!


This is the first blog post in a three-part series discussing the importance and role of a data governance organization in a master data management (MDM) implementation.

MDM is about people and process, not just technology. Implementing MDM technology alone will not address operational and business process challenges. Rather, "mastering" data involves people taking the appropriate action through established data policies and processes.

Data governance is an important people and process component of an MDM strategy. It ensures that data in the MDM hub is of high quality and can be trusted by business users. Without data governance, organizations do not have consistent data definitions or know what constitutes a data problem, who is accountable, what decisions need to be made, or how to escalate and resolve issues.

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In this way, data governance plays a vital role in an MDM implementation. The MDM hub provides the requisite data cleansing, duplicate detection, survivorship, hierarchy management and merge/unmerge capabilities. Essentially, it's the technology used to ensure the data is accurate, complete and can be trusted by business users. Data governance is the essential people and process component. It provides the processes, policies, organization and technology guidance required to manage and ensure the availability, usability, integrity, consistency, auditability, quality and security of the data in the MDM hub.

The data governance organization's (DGO) role is to understand and outline data requirements for the MDM hub. Once these requirements are understood, the DGO facilitates the creation and agreement of foundational elements--such as data models and data dictionaries--to support those requirements. Data governance creates a culture of accountability and ownership around the quality of data and provides escalation mechanisms to manage data quality.

The goal of the DGO is to ensure that the right resources, policies and processes are in place and that the data is available, usable and secure in the MDM hub. Bad data will no longer be ignored and can be addressed proactively and effectively. The DGO manages confidence in the data by ensuring that the data stays clean over time, that it is monitored and measured, and that data quality is continuously improved.

In order to deliver on its mandate, the DGO is responsible for guiding and making decisions concerning an MDM implementation. What MDM decisions does the DGO need to make? The next two blog posts will discuss the important data governance decisions that need to be made by the DGO for a successful MDM implementation.



Want to learn more about Data Governance as a key to MDM Success? See Kelle O'Neal present live at the Data Governance & Information Quality (DGIQ) Conference June 17-20, 2013 in San Diego, California!

Posted January 31, 2013 1:33 PM
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