3 Ways to Catch Changes to Governed Data Before they Occur


An important piece of Data Governance is enforcing the policy and governance over data that the council has put in place. This can be one of the most challenging pieces of data governance, and it really occurs at the point where a data governance program and data quality program intersect. The position you don’t want to find yourself in is only being able to find data violations after they occur, through some kind of profiling tool.  While this is certainly a reactive piece you need, you also need to have proactive data governance practices that will find data changes and missuse before it occurs.

Think you’d have to be Nostradamus to do that? Keep reading for 3 ways to be proactive in enfocing data governance policies.


1. SDLC
Does your company have a PMO? Do they have a standard way of initiating a project? If so, you absolutely must inject your program into this. A best practice we have found is to add some key questions to the project initiation questionaire that triggers an email to us if they are answered in a way that requires the Data Governance Office to take a look. Obviously not every organization will have an online project initiation questionairre, but if you do – this is a highly effective way to be notified of any projects that plan to use data fields in a new way, create new fields, or make changes that the DGO should be aware of.

2. Data Modelers
This is a sneaky yet effective way to catch changes. For database changes, the data modelers must always be involved. If a change has gotten past you through injecting your program into the SDLC, the data modelers can be very effective allies who can tip you off of proposed changes. I’ve written before about how the data modelers can help you, and this is yet another reason that you should be working closely with them. Its also important to ensure that they understand and have bought into the data governance program.


3. Turn everyone into a Sleuth
This stems back to the fact that you should announce your program when it is initiated and get some internal publicity and visibilty. Using this visibility, include some statements and quotes that give the idea that data misuse should be sent on to the DGO for review.

There you have it.  These aren’t necessarily groundbreaking, but if you put them in place you’ll have a better overall governance program that is both proactive and reactive.