Governance Awareness and Accountability

Recently I had the opportunity to attend an Executive Management Committee at a major Bank where the topic of Information Governance was heavy on the agenda. The COO of this Bank was holding a copy of the MetaGovernance Governance Awareness Matrix, indicating that he finally had the information he needed to manage data.

So, what is on this Governance Awareness Matrix, and why was it deemed such a valuable Governance management tool?

The Governance Awareness Matrix is a visualization between the different classes, or subject areas of data, the organizational areas within a company, and the key Governance Stakeholder roles. The Governance Stakeholder roles include Data Owner, Data Delegate, Data Consumer, Data Custodian, and Data Auditor.

The concept of Registered Governance Stakeholder has been the cornerstone of the MetaGovernance implementation strategy and has enabled us to assist in the resolution of countless (and often deemed hopeless) data and information messes that have resulted from failed Data Warehouse, un-architected systems, broken business processes, and often an ineffective approach to data quality. Leveraging our metadata-driven governance approach, we have successfully turned noise into news across the data and information landscape.

The MetaGovernance team is comprised of individuals who have strong passions for data, metadata, analytics, and governance. Governance simply being the means to an end for a clean and profitable data landscape. Our journey has been as much as a metadata venture and a governance or data inquiry. It is not simply possible to define the source, use, and control of data or information across an organization without the use of metadata databases.

The Governance Awareness Matrix is the visual result of “who uses what” data, and from a governance perspective, “who is accountable for what data”? Attempts to explain the complexity of the underlying governance metadata was often difficult for people to grasp, and SQL query results were also confusing.  To convey our message, we resorted to colorized visualizations to present the building blocks of the source, use and accountability of data and information. A visualization matrix resulted, that is dynamic and changing on the fly as business operations and systems change.

Simply put, the Governance Awareness Matrix is an image that shows at a glance the relationship between business, roles, and data.

The executive excitement was due to the fact that this matrix removed the shroud of mystery around the specific Data Owners for different subject areas of data. During the governance implementation, the MetaGovernance process distinguished between product structure, product sales and product accounting. Governance for different product lines was also clearly defined. This executive had been working to determine which groups were responsible for the different types of data, and who the data consumers were, in preparation for an upcoming audit.

Through the applied use of governance metadata, technology and process we have created a living map of the relationships between business and their data and information. It was very refreshing to sit in that meeting, seeing the MetaGovernance vision and efforts appreciated for the true value it offers to a company interested in effectively operationalizing Data Governance and Information Governance.