(US & Canada) VIDEO | Data Governance Programs Are Company-Wide Initiatives – Former Director of Belcan ITSG Program Management Office

Jill Campbell, Former Director of ITSG Program Management Office at Belcan, speaks with Derek Strauss, Chairman at Gavroshe and CDO Magazine Editorial Board Member, about the root causes of data problems, devising solutions, data governance programs, and the importance of ownership.

Campbell begins by stating that the biggest contributing root cause to data problems is the oversimplification of understanding data. She asserts doing all things right with tools like Power BI and partnering with the right teams to map out good dashboards and self-service, however, the problems remained the same.

The problems persisted because the data was never curated, says Campbell. To address this issue, she proposed a full process mapping to understand if the data is accurate.

After speaking with numerous people from different organizations, Campbell partnered with an external data governance expert. With some help, the organization started process mapping from the very beginning with the onboarding of employees.

Campbell adds that since the organizational product is people, it is critical to understand how they come in, become employees, get benefits, and exit. Also, the focus lies on having their updated data as they could be brought back based on skills. Therefore, it made sense for the organization to do an end-to-end mapping under the head of data governance.

The mapping enabled the company to know who owned the data at all pivotal points. She notes that the system ties into the HR and ERP systems, and produces financial reports, enabling Power BI to deliver the information and the organization can identify data product owners.

After identification, the organization ensures putting them in place as gatekeepers so that the data can be curated for accuracy, says Campbell. Then, the organization can start decoding the reasons behind conflicts, she adds.

For instance, Campbell highlights cases like conflicting employee numbers and employee type counts in the systems. To resolve this, the organization stepped back to make some changes and started consolidating to either reduce employee types or identify them better while counting.

After finding out the root cause of why the data is inaccurate, one could start creating data product owners to help keep the data clean, says Campbell. Further, she maintains that even after identifying the problem, communication remains the key, because the problem needs to be solved at each level.

Therefore, the data product owners must communicate with each other toknow if the problem is being fixed in the right system of record. Consequently, the organization did initiate conversations on change control, ownership of data, sequence of data, and how it moves.

Thus, the curation process was documented, says Campbell, which could be used as an artifact whenever there was a change. The organization then made smaller parts of the documentation to help the leaders guide their teams well.

Moving forward, Campbell shares that as part of the solution, data product owners were handed the responsibility to make data a day-to-day conversation. She believes that is the biggest part of the change in any organization, and if not done well, it will only propagate problems. Having good data to make good decisions is the ultimate goal, says Campbell.

Emphasizing ownership structure, she considers it to be a work in progress but is a single-owner structure like agile. She explains that there will be hands-on people working with the data but there will be a single decision-maker - the owner of the data who has accountability and education.

Furthermore, Campbell stresses being cognitive while working with the business and with professionals on what is being asked and who is responsible for what. That way, they will know the verbiage and the accountability requirements for themselves.

Concluding, Campbell states that building out a data governance program is a company-wide initiative. It must have the right stakeholders and once the problem is identified it must involve many players to call out the right responsibilities.

CDO Magazine appreciates Jill Campbell for sharing her insights with our global community.

Executive Interviews

No stories found.
CDO Magazine