Saturday, January 31, 2009

Improving Communication on Data Governance Teams

If data governance is about enabling people to improve processes, your team should consider some tools to help communication between the people. Particularly if your data governance team is global, communication software can improve efficiency by working through some of the issues of a diverse team. If teams are in different time zones, it will be difficult for you to hold status meetings at a time that's convenient for all. The good news is that there are some fantastic software tools including Web 2.0 tools that can support communications in a data governance team.

I'm sure you've heard of, and used, most of these technologies. But have you considered using them on your data governance project?

Blogs are great ways to provide commentary or news on your data governance project. The writer may use text, images, and links to other blogs written by other team members to inform and foster teamwork. A blog allows for one person's perspective on the data governance project, but readers can leave comments and links to their own blogs. Blogs can educate and inform data governance groups, and they can use them to debate unresolved issues or to continue discussions between meetings.
Data governance teams could designate certain team members to blog about the problems they are trying to solve and the projects they are working on. Over time, this type of blog would help keep a record of the processes used - what works and what doesn't. It can also be used to inform data stewards, data governance constituents and other readers about how the company is working to solve data quality issues.

RSS Feeds
The problem with blogs is that you have to revisit them frequently in order to keep up on the latest news. RSS feeds are a great way to push crucial data governance information to the team benefits them by improving communication.

Wikis can hold the latest corporate data policies. Wikis can be opened up to the corporation and provide communications across the enterprise.
There are a lot wikis to choose from. Your best bet is to check out the matrix at

Let’s not forget workflow tools. Workflow software is genre of powerful tools for collaboration and should be considered to improve efficiency into your data governance process. With workflow tools, teams can manage the processes and coordination of the data governance team. The processes managed with workflow tools might include any of the following:

  • work progress of a person or group
  • business approval processes
  • challenges of specific data governance technical processes like ETL or data profiling
  • financial approval processes
Much of the work involved in data governance is meeting and discussing status. Workflow software can save of the time and human capital investment that goes into holding status meetings by covering status and progress in an application. Employees update their status on specific task while managers can see what is on schedule and what is behind.
Some examples of workflow tools include Attask, Basecamp, Clarizen, Sharepoint

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are my own and don't necessarily reflect the opinion of my employer. The material written here is copyright (c) 2010 by Steve Sarsfield. To request permission to reuse, please e-mail me.