Be Visible, Champion the Data Governance Cause


It is important that your Data Governance program stay visible throughout the organization. This means getting out there and doing presentations, getting your talking points in whenever the opportunity presents itself, volunteering to speak at all-hands meetings and business team meetings, etc. A few posts back I talked about the much needed ‘Elevator Speech‘ and I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to have those ready at a moments notice. Additionally though, you’ll need talking points and presentations that last 15-30 minutes and longer for meetings with other IT and Business units, high level executive presentation, mid-level business teams, and any other audience where Data Governance can bring value.


Its important to know your audience when speaking or presenting and you need to specifically tailor your message to what they want to hear. Executives want to know the value you bring to the organization – Remember “Make Money, Reduce Cost, or Mitigate Risk. Period” ?? Make sure your presentation for your executives centers around at least one of those important issues.

For your business units, they are going to want to know what you can do for them. Are you going to help them do their jobs better? Make things more efficient? Fix a problem that is causing them particular pain? Set yourself a goal of getting in front of at least 2 new business teams each month – even if this goes against your corporate culture. Make it casual, don’t be stuffy… just explain what Data Governance is all about and how it could help them and then listen to what they have say. You may learn a lot if you listen closely.


Finally, if you are meeting with an IT team, you’ll want to come from a technical perspective but don’t gloss over the business value. I’ve found that even though you are in a room full of IT people, they want to know what value the program has for the company and are always interested in what the business is discussing in the meetings. So, you might start out by talking about Data Governance and what the goals are, talk about the technical tools being used, review the data fields that are of particular interest right now and the systems that are being reviewed, then close with the ‘recent happenings’ from the Data Governance Stewardship council.

It is absolutely imperative that you work on your soft skills to ensure you Data Governance program’s success.

If you have to, send out a survey to the rest of the company, specifically the ones you are doing the work for, to see what your customer ratings are. The feedback on how they rate you, and what you can do to improve, will help you even more in championing your cause.

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