By: Sara Fraim, Cluster Manager, MassTLC
We had our first program tackling the very complex topic of data governance on Thursday, March 10 hosted by Rocket Software. This program kicked off what we expect to be an initiative that MassTLC takes on throughout this year related to the much bigger topics of data governance, ownership, and privacy.
We were lucky enough to have three thought leaders who have built governance programs and understand the why, how, and who that is involved. Led by Michael Schrage, a Fellow at the MIT Sloan School’s Center for Digital Business and joined by panel members, Andy Ellis, CSO at Akamai, and Barbara Latuilppe, Chief Data Governance Officer at EMC, the discussion quickly dove into how each company defined and thought about data governance.
EMC’s, which is very robust and as Barbara stated a ‘continuous journey’ of now over four years in the making, focuses on business strategy and solving business issues by fueling the analytics engine. While Akamai’s governance focuses on understanding not only what could go right, but more importantly understanding what could go wrong.
While both companies have made huge strides in implementing processes and technologies to govern, there are still ever present problems, such as ownership and data hording. And often times to break through that, there must be a champion within the organization with the clout to push it through. The most successful governance programs have active investors and supporters who can understand at a high level how implementing data governance mechanisms and policies will increase monetization and improve efficiencies.
As governance programs become more sophisticated it is important to add defined processes, such as a standard set of business glossary terms and a metadata catalogue. While not an easy task, important to the ultimate success. But ultimately the program must be defined by what the organization is trying to accomplish and what risk they are willing to take.