RiskTech Forum

SAS: Sustainable Data Governance - A SAS Best Practices White Paper

Posted: 1 December 2014  |  Source: SAS


What it means to be Sustainable?

You’ve hooked them on the idea of data governance. Now, how do you keep them interested? As hard as it is to get started, keeping your data governance program warm over the long term is the greatest challenge. If you have ever started a new exercise program, tried to give up a bad habit, or learned a new skill for which you have no natural proclivity, you know this well. There is a reason analysts such as Gartner include a “trough of disillusionment” when evaluating the life cycle of new innovations or solutions. Just because you know something is good for you doesn’t necessarily make it easy to adopt new behaviors and ways of thinking. Ingrained habits are hard to break. And when you approach the task as a one-off or short-term project, results are typically short-lived.

And so it is with governance. Creating a sustainable governance practice means transcending the pilot phase to become “business as usual.” To do so, you must be willing to embrace - and expect - change.

So what does it take to make your data governance program sustainable? Let’s consider first what sustainability means. I like the following definition from the Brundtland Commission (1987):

“Meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

Note that this definition doesn’t require you to predict the future. The key to creating a data governance program that stands the test of time? Don’t become so focused on right now that you neglect to anticipate change and build flexibility into the data governance program from day one.

With this in mind, let’s review the key dimensions of both a sustainable data governance ecosystem and practices.

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