(Data) Champions Are Everywhere

I recently had the opportunity to meet with the board of directors for a large distribution company here in the U.S.  On the table for discussion were data quality and data governance, and how a focus on both could help the organization gain competitive advantage in the market.  While I was happy to see that this company had tied data quality and data governance to help meet their corporate objectives, that’s not what caught my attention.  Instead, what impressed me the most was how the data quality and data governance champion had effectively helped the rest of the board see that there WAS a direct link, and that with careful focus they could drive better business outcomes than they could without a focus on data at all.  As it turns out, the path to success for the champion was to focus on articulating the link between trusted data — governed effectively — and the company’s ability to excel financially, manage costs, limit its risk exposure and maintain trust with its customers.

Unfortunately, companies like this are not the norm.  Most others I talk to struggle to gain acceptance for data quality and data governance because more time than not they don’t see the link between establishing trusted data and driving revenue, reducing costs, effectively managing risk and maintaining customer trust.  Without understanding and articulating the direct link between these themes, key stakeholders across the business fail to see how improvement will make a difference so elect not to get on board.

Famed athletic coach Arthur Lydiard once wrote “champions are everywhere, all you need is to train them properly.”  Armed with the right tools, anyone in your organization can be a data quality and data governance champion.  It could be you, it could be your manager or co-worker, or, as was the case with the large distributor, it could be a high ranking executive.  Regardless of who becomes the champion, the key to success is understanding the value that trusted data can have to your organization and training yourself to be able to articulate that value in a manner that is meaningful to the key stakeholders in the business.  With a specific focus on how data quality and data governance can drive revenue, reduce costs, reduce risks and maintain trust you’ll surely be able succeed in getting buy in for data quality and data governance.

To help you get started, we created this eBook: Selling the Business Value of Data Quality, that explores each topic in more detail and will help you get started on becoming a champion for data quality and data governance in your organization.


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