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VIDEO | BD Associate Director, Product Data Governance: Data Has To Be Fit For Business Use

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(US and Canada) Sara Willovit, Associate Director, Product Data Governance, BD, speaks with Mark Johnson, Regional VP – Fusion Alliance (and Editorial Board Chair, CDO Magazine), about BD’s business and its approach to data governance and quality in the organization.

BD, the world's largest supplier of medical needles, is now also in the biotech space. Willovit says that combining technology with health care is integral to the organization’s vision.

She explains that data governance involves the data's availability, usability, consistency, integrity, and security. This often includes establishing processes to ensure effective data management, such as driving accountability. Most of Willovit’s time is spent orchestrating data activities between various groups, regions, functional stakeholders, and data stewards. From her POV, orchestration and being diplomatic are vital to being successful.

Sharing her views on data quality, she says that data has to be fit for business use. While stakeholders may have different opinions of what the data should be, data governance implements agreed-upon data definitions and standards. And from an improvement standpoint, Willovit also considers acceptable thresholds because 100%t isn’t always needed for every data attribute.

Willovit stresses that it is about working with the business to identify what is critical, either based on reporting requirements, compliance, or marketing needs. She then discusses the approach to considering critical data elements. She follows a strategy of focusing on things that provide the most significant value without boiling the ocean and expanding the governance organization.

In conclusion, she says that once all of the CDEs are governed, it is easier to establish the business value, which will help expand the governance program.