In this sixth and last blog post about ISO 8000:150 we will look at the foundations that ISO 8000:150 provides for a data governance framework. For an overview of the standard, please see ISO 8000:150–A framework for Data Quality Management. So far in this series of blog posts I have reviewed and commented on the general principles and approaches detailed in the standard. This blog post will be a little different in that it will consider how the standard can form the heart of a coherent approach to data governance, as illustrated in the diagram above. Some of the things that should be considered for inclusion in this wider data governance framework are as follows:
  • Organisation – There needs to be clarity on reporting lines between different groups and bodies in an organisation to ensure that nothing ‘falls between the cracks’ of different areas of influence. This will include ensuring that groups and bodies have a focus on a particular business process or area and not solely on a single software tool or system
  • Executive oversight – For data to be effectively managed by an organisation, it is vital that there is sufficient senior level oversight of data and data related activities. This can help to ensure that issues are addressed at the appropriate level and that sufficient resources and priority can be applied to data related activities
  • Change management – Organisations do not exist in a ‘steady state’ condition, change is on-going and continuous, therefore, data governance and data quality management activities also need to adapt to reflect this change. It is important that sufficient change management and approval is in place to ensure that a ‘good idea’ does not have long term adverse consequences
  • Escalation – Problems and issues will arise, so it is important that there is a clear escalation process to allow people to raise issues and ensure they get addressed at the correct level. For any issue there are only three valid outcomes:
    • Resolve the issue, if you have budget and authority to do so
    • Tolerate the issue, if the magnitude does not warrant action
    • Escalate the issue to the next level in the governance hierarchy only if you the resources/authority at the current level cannot resolve the issue and it is also believed that the issue cannot be tolerated at that level
  • Implementation – Rather than spending a lot of time and resources designing the perfect data governance approach (after a long development time) I am a firm believer in ‘light touch data governance’. Link up and strengthen the activities you already have, ensure that there is some level of executive oversight and change management etc. This approach will start to give immediate benefits and can then be adapted and refined over time.
  • Business As Usual – Whilst development and implementation of data governance can be thought of as a ‘project’, data governance should be thought of as a ‘Business As Usual’ activity in the same vein as Health and Safety Management, Quality Management etc.

This concludes the series of blog posts around ISO 8000:150 and how it can provide both a valuable framework for data quality management, but also for data governance. We hope you have found it useful.

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