Data Governance and Quality Sessions from the IDQ Conference


Wednesday at the conference began the series of shorter sessions. The day kicked-off with the one-hour keynote from Elizabeth Kirscher, President of Morningstar’s Data Services Business. Her presentation, titled “When Data Quality Drives Revenue“, centered around the accomplishments of Morningstar in the data management field and the road that they took to get there. Elizabeth’s background was in sales, so when she began leading the Data Services Business she didn’t quite have the technical background that one would associate with that position. This just goes to show that many data issues reside on the business side, not in IT. In her tenure at Morningstar, where her team is seen as a profit center (lucky her!), she has gone through many regulation and standardizations as well as mergers and acquisitions. Listening to her stories about these business moves was very interesting.


The next session I attended was by special request from a reader here at the Data Governance Blog – “Managing Data Quality in an ERP Environment“. I’ll be posting notes on that soon, but it will take me some time to organize my thoughts as I don’t work in an ERP environment so I’m going to have to make some sense of it. I then attended “Data Governance at Nestle” by Dr. Walid El Abed, here are my bulleted noted:

- Have a straightforward vision, theirs is: “Elevate Data to Enterprise Intelligence”. His goal was to be the brain of the organization through data quality.

- Achieve Data Governance through the creation and storage of the critical business rules (1) Define business rules (2) Provide global visibility of data quality to whole organization at all levels

- Data Governance exists in every organization (creating rules, defining rules, etc…) whether they know it or not. What many do not have is a formalized process – what we really think of when we think data gov


- Logo is important – when people see it on documents they automatically know its from his team. I wrote an article a while back that talked about the importance of branding your data governance program.

- Develop value drivers that are important to your organization, not “BS”. It doesn’t have to be what you read in magazines, books, or hear at presentations, it should be what matters to your organization. Ideas: Improve time to market, Have better decision making…

- Use the vocab your organization understands. At Nestle, the CEO and management signed a document six years ago that they would do Data Ownership. The industry now prefers data stewardship (because of data my-ning). He decided to stick with ownership because that is what works in his organization.

- Tools are helpful. You can achieve big things with small (or no) tools, but they really do help

- Put your metrics in positive terms. For example, say “80% of a data field is correct” rather than “20% of a field is incorrect”.

- He didn’t create the data governance/quality organization, he just formalized what already existed

- Proposed adding a Q in ETL (Extract, Transfer, Load). At Nestle it is ETQL – Extract, Transfer, Quality Check, Load

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