From Informed Decisions to Innovation: How Medtronic Leverages Governance as a Foundation of Trust

Medtronic uses a foundation of trusted data not just to improve decision-making but to power their future innovation.

As a data governance leader, how many times have you been asked, “where is this data,” or “what does this data mean” or even “why doesn’t this information match”? I can feel your eyes rolling now. The answer is — say it with me – all of the time! Beyond regulatory compliance, answering these types of questions are unbelievably common. Addressing these common issues has formed the basis for modern data intelligence efforts. As data governance practitioners, your role has morphed to empowering your organization to make informed, data-driven decisions. These decisions cover everything from answering routine questions to literally fueling the next generation of innovation.

At Medtronic, a large, global, cutting-edge medical device manufacturer, they needed data that they could use to improve decision-making, and also leverage to power their future innovation. As part of our Data Empowerment Experts series, I was fortunate to sit down with the Global Data Governance Lead at Medtronic, Greg Baumhauer, to learn more about their foundation of trusted data and how they’ve scaled their data governance efforts from project to formal enterprise program. Ahead of our webinar, we sat down for a brief Q&A:

Question: What’s your background and how did you get into the world of governance?

Answer: Like most data governance practitioners, my career journey is a diverse one that always seemed to revolve around some aspect of managing or working with enterprise data. I spent time working as a financial analyst, financial systems manager, data security specialist, and risk assurance consultant (auditor).  Ultimately, these experiences have led me to become a data governance professional, which is a natural fit due to my passion for all things data.

Question: Who are the best advocates for data at your organization?

Answer: In the data governance world, the best advocates of any program are the executive and business leadership teams. At Medtronic, the program has their support and personal investment.

Question: How can you help to improve data literacy?

Answer: At Medtronic, establishing a common understanding/ language of data across the organization was the first step.  To do this, we focused on developing an enterprise-wide data catalog that brought together the technical expert’s knowledge of data with the business’s understanding and use. To successfully take on the literacy challenge an application like Axon Data Governance is a must-have, as information is ever-evolving and a memorialization of collected knowledge is needed for all to use and contribute to.

Question: What parts of your business benefit most from having trusted data?

Answer: Medtronic continues to be focused on our most critical data assets, and so the enterprise and regional data analysts/ scientists have been benefiting the most.  As our core data services continue to expand and grow, the need for governed data will eventually touch all aspects of the business.

Question: How have you helped to build a data culture?

Answer: I feel that my team and I have developed a “foothold” with evolving our data culture through enforcing metadata standards, ensuring all appropriate documentation is occurring, advocating data governance best practices and by fostering strong business relationships.  To effectively influence a company’s data culture, a person must be organized, be disciplined, be ethical, be able to teach and collaborate with others.

Check Out the Webinar

I hope you’ll join us on May 26th for our 18th episode of our Data Empowerment Expert webinar series “How Medtronic Leverages Governance as a Foundation of Trust,” where Greg Baumhauer and I will explore the Medtronic data governance journey. You’ll hear about Medtronic’s focus and guiding principles, how they approached necessary collaboration, how they scaled their data governance program, and how they provide transparency and better understanding.