Informatica’s Data Governance Framework

Co-authored with Mary Wilson, Principal Consultant in Informatica Advisory Service.

“Just enough” data governance is an efficient path to enterprise data governance that starts by building early credibility in a strategically chosen area—and using it as a springboard to further success. 

Recently there has been much discussion surrounding Predictive Analytics, Self-Serve Analytics, Data Democratization, and more, discussions brought about by the myriad of data available. Topics such as structured data, unstructured data, data lakes, data warehouses, and, most recently, Cloud Lakehouse Data Management can cause a relatively simple topic to seem overwhelming. Where and how to get started in the governance of this data is a question that many are asking. For many, they simply shrug their shoulders and walk away. “After all, we are profitable today, how is this going to help?”  Which is a plausible question easily translated into a reason not to act at all. 

Having a strong data governance program can help demystify an organization’s data and help organize it in a meaningful way.  

Much like building a house, having a blueprint to guide the process is essential to what goes where and the overall flow. If you get this right, the balance will naturally fall into place. Utilizing the same concept and methodology for data governance will enable an organization to successfully manage and understand its data assets, starting with the highest priority business needs.  

In the next section, we will discuss a methodology that helps accelerate the time to first value, utilizing the Informatica Data Governance Framework as the blueprint to building a sustainable program. 

Let’s talk about the specifics of using this Framework as the blueprint for designing your Data Governance program.  We’ll start with the foundational building blocks… 

  • Strategic Business drivers 
  • Governance Outcomes 
  • People 
  • Process 
  • Technology 

The Framework provides a conceptual model for structuring your organization’s approach to data governance. 

What does this mean? 

This framework helps our customers focus on what matters most.  We find that many customers focus on the technology without considering the whole picture or all of the data governance components required to achieve desired business outcomes. 

By taking a top-down approach, however, we create alignment to ensure focus. 

The “Strategy” building block sets the stage for the overall foundation—defining business strategies and drivers. Until you identify the desired business outcomes, you can’t truly align data governance to your business.   

Let’s see an example of how this plays out in the Informatica Data Governance Framework. 

In the example above, the business objective is profitability. Ok, this is lofty. Specifically, this organization wants to increase sales by 20% through improved segmentation.   

From a governance perspective, they need to have a 360 view of customer and improve quality. 

In order to achieve this goal, they need to define their governance organization and ensure they have the DQ skills to rationalize customer data. 

They’ll also need to create processes to standardize and cleanse data along with technology to make the volumes of data accessible in a meaningful and structured way. 

In another example, to improve customer satisfaction and retention rates you may need to improve quality of customer data or determine how you classify customers. For each of the outcomes, there may be specific challenges or governance capabilities that must be addressed for the organization to achieve their goals. 

The ultimate goal is to focus on aligning to business outcomes and value. These manifest in specific governance themes and ultimately use cases that can be measured. Connecting the dots from strategic metrics to operational metrics are the key to continued buy in and success of the Data Governance Program, as depicted in the diagram below. 

The primary focus for the Data Governance Program should address those capabilities that will improve business outcomes.  

Always keep in mind that you can’t boil the ocean! Informatica’s mantra is to “Think Big, Start Small, and Scale Fast”.    

Learn more about the framework by attending a virtual Data Governance and Privacy Roundtable where you will share best practices with peers from other organizations. You and others from your organization can also become certified by registering for the Informatica Data Governance and Privacy Foundation series.