We live in an age where data is used to represent what happens in the real world –operations are being transformed from hands-on experience to a data and process model. Data is now used to describe our business – people, places, events etc. Enormous efficiencies can be achieved but only when the data accurately represents the real world we are modelling. If data governance is lacking and data quality is poor, our systems and processes are compromised.
The starting point for data governance is to build a framework representing the business environment – we call this Enterprise DNA.
In organisms, the molecule DNA is built from simple elements which are combined in multiple different structures called genes. Genes provide living organisms with the instructions they need to develop and function.
So it is with building information systems.
What do we need to know about the organization that will helps us to manage our business processes better? At the very least…
- We need to know what our organisation does
- We need to know what products and services we provide
- We need to know what assets we manage
- We need to know who we are and who our stakeholders are
- We need to know what type of documents and artefacts are created and used
- We need to know what systems and processes are in operation
- We need to know what laws and regulations affect us
- We need to know how all of the above is connected
The purpose of this knowledge is to produce a holistic view of the organization – a framework that makes the connection between the organization’s business and the data it uses.
Data Governance Framework
This framework is comparable to the faceted classification schemes used by librarians for organizing knowledge into a systematic order. The main facets for representing the organization are:
- Functions, Activities and Processes
- Artefact and Document Types
- Assets and Equipment
- Organizations and People
- Domains, Disciplines and Subjects
If you were the mind map the structure it would look like this:
Development of the framework is the first major step in your data governance process. It enables business and ICT to build a common and holistic understanding of what data sets are needed to represent the organisation.
Once the framework is agreed and in place, it becomes significantly easier to fit the data into the business model and build understanding of what data is used and how it is used to support the business.