Russian Gas Pipe and Data Governance

As you know, Russia supplies Gas to many European countries.

What's flowing through your critical data pipelines?

Do you know what’s in your critical data pipelines?

Could you imagine Italy purchasing gas from Russia without checking what exactly was flowing through the pipe?  I’m no expert on gas pipelines, but I know that before completing the agreement to purchase the gas, Italy and Russia would have agreed metrics such as:

  • Volume of Gas
  • Calorific value (Energy content)
  • etc.

So what? What else would one expect?  Applied common sense… yes?

Why is it that such common sense is often lacking in Data Migration and Data Population projects?  Why do some Enterprises continue to perform data population of, and ongoing data entry to, critical data repositories without fully understanding the data they are pumping into the repository?

A simple example involves Date of Birth.  The business ask the IT function to populate Date of Birth in the new AML / BASEL II / CRM / other repository. Some time later, when data population is complete, the business begin to express concerns:

  • “We never realised we had so many customers aged over 100 ???”
  • “I thought we had more Student customers”
  • “How come so many of our customers share the same birthday ?”
  • “These are not the results we expected”
  • etc.

Performing data population on the basis of what the source data “should contain”, without analysing what exactly it does contain is known as ‘Load and Explode’ approach to Data Population.  I cover this Enterprise Wide Data Issue in more detail here.

We in the “Data Governance”, “Data Quality” industry need to educate the business community on the “common sense” parts of data governance, and the need to engage “Data Governance Professionals”  to ensure that “Data Quality Common Sense” is actually applied.

Feedback welcome – Ken

3 thoughts on “Russian Gas Pipe and Data Governance

  1. Very true. This is especially prevalent in companies with ‘bespoke’ IT development houses. We as the Data Governance folk need to ensure that we are part of every conversation concerning development and changes / additions to enterprise data models. We need to educate IT to the point that they think about data consumption rather than how quickly data can be produced. IT needs to be involved in understanding the entire data life-cycle and downstream business processes and data consumers.

    Great post Ken!

  2. Nice article Ken – accountability for these areas of work is often overlooked – on my current project we driving this through data stewards at 3 levels: LOB, application and info subject area,

  3. Pingback: Data is the new oil – what grade is yours? | Ken O'Connor Data Consultant

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