At WebbMason, we build data and analytics governance into the technology, processes, and workflows of the analytics platform.
It is an integral part of everything we do because you can’t drive business outcomes with analytics if your stakeholders don’t trust the results.
Creating a governance system
Successful governance requires management of the data before it is ingested into the analytics platform as well as an understanding of how it may be used and transformed, and who is given access.
The problem with a waterfall approach to governance:
- All current and future needs cannot be defined upfront.
- Insufficient to accommodate all situations.
- Time-consuming and causes project delays.
- Identify and define minimum needs upfront.
- Commit to continuous evolution.
- Accommodates fast-changing needs in a dynamic environment that can comprise employees as well as multiple vendors and consultants.
These are tactical frameworks that allow you to track and monitor data as it moves through your analytics platform. They protect your data from corruption and alteration as it is ingested, transformed, modeled and published.
Here are some of the workflows we use to ensure solutions are trustworthy:
- Validating source data. This data may come from unconnected systems such as finance and marketing as well as sources outside the business, e.g., external vendors.
- Limiting the use of datasets that are not validated in decision making.
- Preventing unverified datasets from informing decisions.
- Managing access to data. For example, restricting access to sensitive HR datasets.
- Implementing technologies that can reveal the lineage of the data used in reports so stakeholders can inspect its origins.
- Data “zones” and tools to help users discover available datasets.
Facilitating IT and analytics group collaboration
WebbMason Analytics works closely with all its clients to develop a customized RACI chart to define who is responsible for what at each stage of an analytics solution.
- The IT department generally owns and manages business systems and the data they collect.
- The analytics group is responsible for the analytics workflows and platform capabilities.
In addition, we create communications processes to alert the correct teams about problems, e.g., a source data quality issue, and then appropriately prioritize a resolution.