Happy Birthday, GovernYourData.com!

Happy Birthday, GovernYourData.com!I’m proud to announce that GovernYourData.com, the all-things-data-governance-community I created with Informatica, turns 4 in January 2017!   Being such a passionate advocate and evangelist for data governance throughout my career, I’m excited that my pride and joy, GovernYourData.com, has become a valuable resource for so many.  (Yes, my kids are my pride and joy too – but they don’t let me talk about data governance at home!).

Today with data management challenges only increasing in complexity with trends like Big Data, Cloud and IoT, the need for data governance is finally finding a stronghold in the eyes (and budgets) of enterprises large and small.

The Back Story

I joined Informatica in early 2012, hired to help evolve our data governance strategy. For years, our customers relied (and continue to rely) heavily on our software to integrate, cleanse, master, secure, audit and govern their critical data.  We offered awesome capabilities to help get that job done, and we have always taken significant pride in building products that deliver great outcomes for our customers. But that wasn’t enough.

As we head into 2017, I hope we in the data management profession all agree that data governance is not about tools and technology.  It’s about people, policies, processes and behaviors within the organization that place a premium on data to the point where its nurtured as a true enterprise asset – not an IT project.

Our customers were sending us a clear message:  As the top strategic data management software partner within their organizations, they expected that Informatica would also help them on their data governance journeys.  We provided thought leadership on Integration Competency Centers and Velocity methodologies to support data management initiatives, but they were waiting for us to help them tackle data governance as their next data competency frontier.

Informatica hired me to leverage my 15+ years as a data management practitioner, and 6 years as an industry analyst focused on data quality, master data management and data governance.  I had hands-on experience with a lot of what worked – and even more experience with what didn’t work. I immediately began to work with our customers, partners, industry analysts and other subject matter experts to build a set of best practices, methodologies and tools to address the product-agnostic challenges our customers were facing when attempting to roll out a data governance program.  (You can take a look at my white paper, “Holistic Data Governance: A Framework for Competitive Advantage” to see an overview of our Data Governance point of view.)

Introducing GovernYourData.com!

 

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As a culmination of that effort, in January 2013 I launched Informatica’s GovernYourData.com, a one-stop product and vendor-agnostic data governance resource center, and I’ve been the site moderator ever since. GovernYourData features a combination of community engagement, free assessment tools, and resources all specifically aimed at helping you be successful in your data governance implementations.   Since its launch, GovernYourData has registered over 1,700 active members representing 15+ industries and over 50 countries, with thousands of additional non-registered visitors (19,185 to be exact – thanks Google Analytics!)

Over 400 organizations have completed a free Data Governance Maturity Assessment on the site!  As you can see, from a maturity score between 0 and 5, across all industries we’re collectively at 1.64.

 

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On the one hand, those of us in the data management community could be depressed by the low data governance maturity score across industries.   But instead I see this as a huge opportunity for every organization.   What does it mean when your peers are woefully inadequate at using their data for competitive advantage? It means that even a small, focused investment in data governance can position you to differentiate from your competitors! And once you’ve delivered initial value to the business, you can build the necessary sponsorship and momentum to evolve your data governance program even further.  We authored a great eBook called “Just Enough Data Governance” that can help you to evangelize this “start small and grow” approach within your organizations. We also hosted a great webinar with our customer, Sharp Healthcare, who share how they accomplished this, “A Journey Through the First 6 Months of Building a New Data Governance Program.”

What’s Next?

Informatica continues to lead the charge in helping our customers in all aspects of data governance.   The methodology we introduced almost 5 years ago wasn’t simply documented best practices, it is the DNA of our R&D innovations for Data Governance solutions, and is embedded in all aspects of our Intelligent Data Platform. (As a proof point, check out our latest leadership positions in the Gartner Magic Quadrants for Data Integration, Data Quality, Metadata Management, Data Masking, and Master Data Management – all of which include heavy weighting for data governance and stewardship capabilities).

In addition, Informatica’s Professional Services organization has built a robust Data Governance practice from this same foundation, focused on helping customers get executive buy-in to get their data governance programs off the ground.

And the GovernYourData.com community continues to grow! Our data governance subject matter experts, as well as our sales and service teams, love to introduce it when working closely with our customers, but its mission remains unchanged.  GovernYourData is a product- and vendor-agnostic self-service tool that you can use to facilitate conversations and educate your key stakeholders on what’s needed to build your own data governance program.   But know that me and my colleagues at Informatica are always at your disposal and ready to help.

Thanks to all of you who are a part of the GovernYourData community, and if you haven’t checked it out – I encourage you to do so.

Happy Governing – and Happy New Year!
Rob