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The Questions you should be asking in order to Make Information Governance Work Well

by Andrew White  |  July 1, 2014  |  4 Comments

Another potential title for this blog was, “Insightful Questions and Observations from an End-User on Information Governance.

I was on a telephone call this morning with a client of ours that simply rewards me no end.  The questions they posed, and the dialog I shared in, was just awesome.  I felt so excited and rewarded at the end since their perspectives were evolved, and yet they still had room to improve.  And our dialog helped them adjust their thinking just enough to show even more possibilities for effective information governance going forward.

First the client description: Medium to large consumer goods manufacturer and distributor.  Mostly North American but with some global elements.  Complex product supply chain, lots of ERP, SCM, SCP, WMS, CRM and so on.  The usual stuff.

Now for the questions/dialog:

  • What level of person usually takes on the role of Information Steward?
  • Is it a full-time role, or do they also have a business role to maintain business knowledge?  See my blog: “13 minutes of work a week” for a hint
  • Is it a rotational role?
  • How many different data areas might an information steward have responsibility for?

Two or three threads appeared that were just breathtaking:

  1. How do we expand our efforts from governing master data to, for example, governing other kinds of data like analytics?
  2. We didn’t realize, until this call, that there should be a clear distinction between “data maintenance” and “information stewardship”.
  3. We only just agreed the other day that there is a huge difference between master data, and what you just called “application specific or suite data”.  We get the difference and what that means.

Those last two just blew my mind.  Such simple items, rarely recognized, are what I would call smart DNA or “upper right quadrant” behavior.  I didn’t want the call to end and wish I could have been there, in the room with the client.

To be able to explore such questions, when there is still time, money and energy left to make a difference, makes my job worth it.  It was both a pleasure and an honor to speak with such clients.

Category: information-governance  information-stewardship  

Andrew White
Research VP
8 years at Gartner
22 years IT industry

Andrew White is a research vice president and agenda manager for MDM and Analytics at Gartner. His main research focus is master data management (MDM) and the drill-down topic of creating the "single view of the product" using MDM of product data. He was co-chair… Read Full Bio

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