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
An excellent series of blog posts from Phil Wright (Balanced approach to scoring data quality) prompted me to restart this series. Phil tells us that in his organisation, “a large amount of time and effort has been applied to ensure that the business community has a definitive business glossary, containing all the terminology and business rules that they use within their reporting and business processes. This has been published, and highly praised, throughout the organisation.” I wish other organisations were like Phil’s.
Not only do some organisations lack “a definitive business glossary” as Phil describes above, complete with business rules….
Some organisations have no Enterprise wide Data Dictionary. What is worse – there is no appreciation within senior management of the need for an Enterprise wide Data Dictionary (and therefore no budget to develop one).
- No business definition, or contradictory business definitions of the intended content of critical fields.
- There is an over dependence on a small number of staff with detailed knowledge of some databases.
- Incorrect or non-ideal sources of required data are identified – because the source of required data is determined by personnel with expertise in specific systems only.
- New projects, dependent on existing data, are left ‘flying blind’. The impact is similar to landing in a foreign city, with no map and not speaking the language.
- Repeated re-invention of the wheel, duplication of work, with associated costs.
CIO to define and implement the following Policy: (in addition to the policies listed for Data Governance Issue #10):
- An Enterprise wide Data Dictionary will be developed covering critical Enterprise wide data, in accordance with industry best practice.
Does your organisation have an “Enterprise wide Data Dictionary” – if so, how did you achieve it? If not, how do new projects that depend on existing data begin the process of locating that data? Please share your experience.