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 rules provide critical details about data fields, including the ‘business’ name of the field, the business purpose of the field, the values it may hold, the business meaning of each value, and interdependencies with other data.
An example of a business rule could be ‘Account Type must be consistent with Account Fee Rate, both must be BUSINESS, or both must be ‘PERSONAL’. Such a business rule would be critical on an Anti Money Laundering Programme, where you must apply different alert rules to personal and business accounts.
In some organisations, there is no ‘Master’ repository of business rules. Business rules are not easily researched, not formally documented, and not subject to change control.
Impact: Projects dependent on existing data must research business rules governing that data from first principles, and face the risk of not finding them, or finding inconsistent business rules. This leads to duplication of effort, project delays, and the risk of making incorrect business decisions based on incorrect business rules (e.g. generating False Anti Money Laundering Alerts on accounts you treat as PERSONAL, when in fact they are BUSINESS.)
Agree and implement the following Policies:
- Overall ownership for business rules governing data within the Enterprise lies with the CIO.
- Ownership for business rules within each Business Unit lies with the CIO and the head of the Business Unit.
- Business rules must be formally documented and subject to change control (Enterprise-wide, and Business Unit specific).
- The CIO must appoint a person (TitleX) with responsibility for Enterprise wide business rules.
- TitleX is responsible for the definition and maintenance of Enterprise-wide business rules, in consultation with business units.
- TitleX must provide a single point of contact to handle requests for business rule details.
Have you faced the above issue in your organisation, or while working with clients? What did you do to resolve it? Please share your experience by posting a comment – Thank you – Ken.