Common Enterprise wide Data Governance Issues #11: No ownership of Cross Business Unit business rules

This post is one of a series dealing with common Enterprise Wide Data Governance Issues.  Assess the status of this issue in your Enterprise by clicking here:  Data Governance Issue Assessment Process

Business Units often disagree

I'm right, he's wrong!

Different Business Units sometimes use different business rules to perform the same task.

Withing retail banking for example, Business Unit A might use “Account Type” to distinguish personal accounts from business accounts, while Business Unit B might use “Account Fee Rate”.


Impact(s) can include:

  1. Undercharging of Business Accounts mistakenly identified as Personal Accounts, resulting in loss of revenue.
  2. Overcharging of Personal Accounts mistakenly identified as Business Accounts, which could lead to a fine or other sanctions from the Financial Regulator.
  3. Anti Money Laundering (AML) system generates false alerts on Business Accounts mistakenly identified as Personal Accounts.
  4. AML system fails to generate alert on suspicious activity (e.g. large cash lodgements) on a personal account misidentified as a Business Account, which could lead to a regulatory fine.
  5. Projects dependent on existing data (e.g. AML, CRM, BI) discover that the business rules they require are inconsistent.

Solution:
Agree and implement the following Policy:  (in addition to the policies listed for Data Governance Issue #10)

  • Responsibility for resolving cross business unit business rule discrepancies lies with the Enterprise Data Architect.

For further details on Business rules – see Business Rules Case Study.

Your experience:
Have you faced a situation in which different business units use different business rules?   Please share your experience by posting a comment – Thank you – Ken.

2 thoughts on “Common Enterprise wide Data Governance Issues #11: No ownership of Cross Business Unit business rules

  1. Hey Ken, I like this rule very much:

    “Responsibility for resolving cross business unit business rule discrepancies lies with the Enterprise Data Architect”.

    From my experience, all too often are technologists (particularly technology architects) told they aren’t “the business” and that “business people” should be deciding the rules of the game. As time progresses, we find our technology colleagues becoming more and more “business savvy” and at this point I believe in fact we are “business people”. We have budgets which are tied to base and target business financial plans, we have staff, directives from senior management, lots of us even have MBA’s. Note here: I don’t have an MBA, just a minor in Marketing. My VP however has an MBA and I just interviewed a slew of folks for a SQL Server DBA/Developer position, of which about a third of them had MBA’s.

    Keep up the fantastic articles and best regards…Rich Murnane

  2. Another great entry in an excellent series.

    I love the cartoon!

    Yes, I often encounter the “different business unit, different business rules” issue on enterprise-wide projects.

    There is usually a (perception only) pecking order within many organizations, and people might as well be wearing tee shirts to the meetings that read: “My Business Unit is more important than Your Business Unit!”

    I also echo Rich’s sentiment about needing to view the technologists (as in “IT? Well, ALL of the Business Units are more important than IT!”) as “business people” too (and that IT needs to view themselves this way also).

    Data Governance helps to facilitate the necessary “we are all in this together” philosophy (Henrik is going to yell at me for using THAT word again!) that is essential to success.

    Thanks again for an excellent series.

    Best Regards…

    Jim

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