Database Answers



4.5 Stage 5 – Data Governance

4.5.1 Overview

Question : What is Data Governance ?

Data Governance can be defined simply as ‘Doing things right’ in Enterprise Data Management by complying with the appropriate rules, policies and procedures.

 These will all be designed to make sure that data used throughout the Enterprise is good-quality data, certainly when it appears in Performance reports.


Question : How do I get a top-down view of Data Management in my organisation ?

Answers to this question are at different levels :-

  • Data Governance at the top-level
  • Master Data Management at the mid-level
  • Data Integration at the mid-level
  • Data Owners and Sources at the lowest level
  • Information Catalogue mandated as the central repository of all this information
  • Appropriate procedures in place to control all of these factors.


Question : Why should my organisation have a Data Governance function ?

The existence of a Data Governance function is a measure of the maturity of Data Management within an organization

The first steps should be to establish a thin slice of Data Governance from top to bottom


If you are active in this area, you should consider joining a professional organizational.

This helps you to network with your peer group and will encourage you to keep up-to-date in knowledge and professional practice.


Here are two organisations that are planning active roles in Data Governance :-

i) The Data Governance Institute (Membership starts at $150 for individuals) :-


ii) The Data Governance and Stewardship Community of Practice ($150/year)  :-                    -

It includes coverage of some very useful Case Studies :-


It also maintains a Data Governance Software Web Site :-

and Sarbanes-Oxley Web Site -


4.5.2 Best Practice

Successful Data Governance requires successful completion of many Tasks, most of which are not technical and all of which are complex and challenging.

The process of initially establishing Data Governance will always take much longer than anticipated. Therefore, management of expectations is very important.

It is necessary to aim for collaboration and by-in from the start.

This buy-in must be top-down and bottom-up.

The top-down buy-in manifests itself by, for example, a realization that ‘Data Quality is an Enterprise Issue’.

The bottom-up buy-in is important because quality of Source data is critical and must be good, otherwise any Data Governance issue will fail.


Auditing, for example, of database changes, is a basic requirement.


This Weblink for the Data Governance Institute is relevant :-




4.5.3 Templates

Templates for Data Governance include standard documents.

These documents can be made available as Forms over the Internet.

They will control all aspects of the planning, management and control of Data Management.


Compliance will be ensured with overall Enterprise policy and procedures to ensure auditability and transparency.



4.5.4 Tools

Tools are those required to manage Templates and include Excel Spreadsheets and Databases..

4.5.5 Tutorials

Here is a step-by-step Tutorials for Data Governance :-

Step 1. Determine the principles and goals of Data Governance.

                For example ‘Data Quality is an Enterprise Issue’.

Step 2. Clarify Roles and responsibilities, both top-down and bottom-up.

Step 3. Obtain agreement on how success will be measured.

Step 4. Determine Data Quality standards at all phases in ETL

Step 4. Avoid a demanding schedule.

Step 5. Establish a spirit of collaboration and ownership of a common problem.

                This will help obtain timely resolution of all issues.


This Presentation by Barry Williams on Data Standardisation in Public Sector is an excellent starting-point-



Here’s another useful Presentation by Barry on a Strategy for Information Mgt     -




4.5.6 How do I ? Get buy-in from key Stakeholders ?

It is essential to get key Stakeholders involved and one good way to achieve this is by arranging Facilitated Workshops. Where necessary, you can supplement these with one-on-one discussions between you or your team and specific individuals who have concerns that are best resolved before holding Workshops.



4.5.7 Qualities for Success in Data Governance

To be successful in Data Governance it is important to be comfortable working with senior management and to have a clear idea of what is achievable in large organizations and how to establish agreement over overall goals for an enterprise.


Someone who works in this area is happy to work with senior management and will understand just enough about technology to make an effective contribution and to ensure that the role of technology is used to the maximum effect.