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Coordinating a Successful Data Governance and Master Data Management Strategy Across the Enterprise
Q3 2013
Kelle O'Neal

Executives understand that a solid data strategy can provide organizations with the ability to manage and control their ever-increasing amounts of data. Harnessing and analyzing data effectively can help both business and IT departments lower costs while gaining more immediate business value from the data in the form of improved decision-making.

One of the biggest challenges in a data initiative is aligning different and sometimes competing departments to work towards the same long-term vision. It is also very difficult to execute a data program all at once, in a “big bang” approach. Rather, the program should be deployed in phases over time, starting in one area and incrementally building out and adding value to the rest of the organization.

With a phased rollout, inevitably one or more groups realize value in the program in advance of others. Getting those groups impacted later in the deployment on board and ensuring they stay on board is a challenge. In effect, each individual needs to go through an internalization process to accept the precedents that have been established.

The process starts with learning about the data program and understanding why the program is of value both to the enterprise and to each group, individually. This process continues until eventually all the groups accept the program. They may even identify innovative ways to enhance the benefits of the program.
Clearly, a proactive approach to aligning the organization around a common goal and plan is critical when launching a data program. Taking a proactive approach also contributes to the sustainability of the program.

An alignment workshop can be used prior to starting an enterprise-wide data initiative as a means to mobilize the stakeholder group, identify challenges, articulate value and identify potential starting points.

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