Data governance

tags: Knowledge Meetings

Data governance

Many organizations are trying to get a better grip on the reliability and usability of information and data; so-called Data Governance. Thinking about Data Governance, it must first become clear who is the ‘owner’ of the data. Within many organizations the ownership of Data is still at the IT-department, but is this the right place? Where should it be? How do you guarantee this? With these questions also comes a new role, the CDO (Chief Data Officer), how does this role fit into the organization?

Jumbo was willing to share their experiences regarding Data Governance with the main focus on practical examples instead of a theoretical approach.  Ownership is key! But not always easy and clear (Process owner, owner client data, etc). The help of a Data Stewart is advisable.

At the start it is good to know what the key driver is…Costs? Improvement? Client intimacy? Must ?

One of the biggest challenges is to get broad support and commitment for Data Goverance within the entire organization. How do you make it tangible for the organization? Do we all use the same definition? (In this session we used: Data Governance is a collection of practices and processes which help to ensure the formal management of data assets within an organization). And please do not only focus on the word “data”, but also on the model you would like to use, impact on technology, etc.

By the way,  If you prefer to stick to the plain definition it will only work in static environments. Jumbo is transforming from a more traditional shop concept into a data driven, omnichannel Retailer. This will become a very dynamic on-line environment! Interacting with the customer is crucial, therefore data is crucial. The same goes for the Digital warehouse.  With regard to security it turns out that employees and behaviour are the weakest link in the process. Be aware, and act accordingly. For example; with a dedicated awareness program. And, be careful what you communicate to your customers and share with them. A very “optimistic” approach can have the opposite effect.

Another important question is how to anchor and manage data quality. Having a CDO is crucial and more or less a “must have”. The CDO must be a member of the board of directors, preferably not part of the ICT department and will have a “bridge function”. In the right setting it can be a game-changer.

Bottlenecks that have been discussed:

  • Ownership, is it the responsibility of IT?
  • Departments vs Process owners (input and output), lack of Process owners
  • Cultural aspects, missing the of sense of urgency
  • Dynamics of the company itself and priority (data often not seen as “core” business)
  • Alignment.


During these discussions MDM system was often mentioned. Which system do you use, how to choose, do’s and don’ts, lessons learned, etc. We jointly decided this could be an interesting topic for our next meeting. In other words; to be continued!

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