***Editor's Note: Interested in Master Data Management? Then make sure
to attend ebizQ's "MDM's Role as a Critical Enabler for SOA" roundtable
and learn how to maximize the business value of your enterprise information. Sign
In large organizations, data governance and its practice typically germinates
either from a top-down approach led by a key executive -- say, a Chief Financial
Officer -- or from a bottom-up approach, driven by business unit stakeholders
who understand the importance of data ownership and data management to their
success. Yet, either approach can readily stall, run into a political logjam,
or fail if critical questions have not been raised and addressed in advance
of embarking upon a solid data governance initiative. In a report entitled "A
Data Governance Manifesto: Designing and Deploying Sustainable Data Governance,"
Jill Dyche, co-founder of Baseline Consulting and author of the report, warned:
"Without a sound description of the problems being solved, as well as clear
communications around key decisions and the authority to make them, data governance
can fail before it really begins."
Master Data Governance, defined
While data is certainly ubiquitous across an organization, the practice of
data governance is commonly limited to the most important types of data -- the
data necessary for efficiently managing business operations and regulatory compliance.
Today, this important class of data, called master data, is emerging as a critical
and central component to a company's data governance efforts. More specifically,
master data is a collection of common, core business data entities such as customer,
product, and organization and their associated attributes and values that are
considered to be core to a company's business. Master data governance (MDM),
on the other hand, is the overall management of these data entities and consists
of the policies, processes, controls, and audit functions required to manage
and safeguard these critical corporate data assets. As a result, data governance
also includes oversight of the related domains of data availability, usability,
integrity and security.