As a data expert, you know that data quality means better decisions. Unfortunately, many data and business intelligence experts we talk to tell us that the C-suite doesn’t see the value in data governance.
It’s frustrating when you hear that your data concerns don’t matter compared to all of the other priorities in the organization. It doesn’t have to be that way. You can use this five-step data governance framework to earn management buy-in
for data governance.
1. Uncover The Problems Poor Data Is Currently Causing
Asking “please support my data governance program!” is the wrong approach entirely. It just comes across as technical jargon or worse, not particularly compelling. The solution is to look for problems inside your organization caused by poor data practices. To guide you through the process, use these prompts:
Make sure you have time for phone calls and in-person meetings because that work will help in the following steps.
Protip: Basing your data strategy around real problems is critical. For further exploration of this issue, check out our post “Where To Get Started with Your MDM Strategy.”
2. Frame Data Governance in Terms the Business Gets
If you use the phrase “data governance,” you will not get buy-in. Instead, frame BI as a solution to a painful problem like consistent customer fulfillment problems. Which framing for data governance works best? It depends. Here are two possibilities:
3. Paint a Picture of the Current State of Data Governance
Proclaiming weak data governance is not compelling. You need to paint a vivid picture using data and stories.
4. Find Your Fans: Data Governance Supporters
What happens when a BI manager seeks management buy-in alone? Most of the time, you will not get the approval you want. The answer comes down to pure office politics: you failed to line up supporters. To prevent this mistake from killing your BI program, get these supporters.
What if you struggle to line up any data governance supporters? Go back to step 1 to find more important business problems.
5. Get Outside Help: Build The Pitch For an External Solution
You know that your team just doesn’t have the tools to manage data right. Craft your pitch for an external solution by making it the centerpiece of a solution to a significant problem (e.g., customer fulfillment).
What If Your Management Still Says No To You?
If you were unsuccessful in winning management support, there
are two common reasons:
Your Take Away Message
You’ve got to sell management on data governance by speaking their language. Do your homework to discover business problems and show how data governance solves the problem.
Protip: To learn more about strategies that can help you, check out the MDM Education Hub – and select the “Getting Started with MDM” link.
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