Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Governance or quality

The wonderful quandry - 'Which came first, the chicken or the egg?' has been with us since time immemorial. One can ask the same thing about so many aspects of life, including, perhaps, the two data management disciplines of Governance and Quality.

In modern organisations, very often you find quality audit functions appearing fairly quickly, particularly where there are manufacturing standards to uphold. In traditional manufacturing, it is easier to trace problems to specific areas and individuals to fix.

In the sphere of data management, delineation of responsibility and accountability can be a key issue, particularly when so many processes are scheduled and have been running for a long time. When systems mature, companies usually decide to put together specialist data quality initiatives. But when the data quality team discovers problems, securing resources and funds to fix them can be particularly difficult without the appropriately allocated responsible and accountable data owners.

So in this particular chicken and egg race, data quality often comes first. But to be truly effective, data governance should optimally commence first; Because without governance to enforce accountability and responsibility, data quality initiatives can fall upon deaf ears. 

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