Steps to take with data right now: Data governance

If anything is going to highlight gaps in your data governance, it’s a sudden switch to remote working in a high-pressure situation.

Remote working completely changes the way we communicate with colleagues. Teams who used to sit less than two meters away are now scattered to the wind, and short conversations or information requests are replaced with Teams, emails, or Basecamp projects.

However, when it comes to your data this can actually be a blessing in disguise. It may well force your business to confront bad data sharing habits, and take a closer look at how data should effectively be distributed and shared.

Data governance defines the processes by which information flows through a business and it has as much to do with people as it does data. This may make it seem like a difficult project to carry out remotely, but now is actually an ideal time to take the first step.

Why will this help?

If you’re experiencing a surge in demand for digital services or online orders in the current climate, a data governance project can make sure your data is up to the task – and that your employees and customers can use it effectively.

By highlighting errors, or data weak spots, you can lessen the likelihood of costly data mistakes at a crucial time for your business.

If you’re facing a lull thanks to cancelled projects, store closures or other interruptions, this is a positive step to make your data work harder for your business as it enters in recovery.

Click here, to download our Data Governance Remote Project PDF to share with your team.

Getting started

Before you start, we recommend you tackle your existing data quality with a data clean up: find out more about this project here.

What do I need to do?

  • Identify the team that needs to work on this project: these are your key stakeholders, and they are likely to be spread across several departments
  • Get buy-in from leadership: ensure they understand the impact of the project, and the implications of not doing it.
  • Make sure you – and everyone that needs to be involved – has access to the data
  • Look at how data is shared, inputted and utilised across the board (see the tip below for a starting point)
  • Ask key questions. Explore discrepancies in data definitions, information priority, stakeholder concerns.
  • Create a clear framework: once you have collating the information you need, define what best practices should now look like.
  • Collaborate. Communicate changes throughout the business, listen to feedback, and maintain vigilance as the project gets under way.

Understanding information sharing

In a shared workspace, people can fall into bad habits: requesting data verbally, emailing data between two people, creating team spreadsheets that cause data siloes. Now that people are remote working, this can become even more dangerous – and invisible.

Tip: Identify an ‘owner’ for every current spreadsheet or information silo. This will:

  • Empower owners of spreadsheets and make them accountable
  • Minimise issues that can stem from remote working bad practice
  • Get your organisation to start thinking at a high level about governance

This step can even be a precursor to establishing your own data dictionary.

If you need help with any of the above, Comma has a pragmatic approach with Quick Start packages that can be delivered remotely.

From setting out best practices to tackling information flow problems, Comma can help you turn remote working into an opportunity to implement Data Governance with our support.

You can book a free consultation with one of our data professionals to get free advice on how to start your data clean up here, give us a call on +44 1926 911820 or email [email protected].