In 2018, we published our first white paper “Why start an agile data governance?”. Our goal was to present a pragmatic approach on the attributes of such data governance, one that is capable of rising to the challenges of this new age of information:

We advocate for it to be bottom-up, non-invasive, automated and iterative. In a word, agile.

In this second edition, we decided to tackle the organization of this new agile data governance and its scaling process using the same mindset.

We believe that what distinguishes Web Giants in their approach to their data isn’t the structure of their governance but the culture that irrigates and animates their organization.

This culture has a name: Data Democracy.

Our white paper will address the following themes:

Assessing data governance

Our white paper assess the different governance bodies that we come across in traditional organizations today. The latter often takes on a defensive approach, usually inherited from Master Data Management or from larger initiatives for implementing information systems governance. Very centralized, sometimes bureaucratic, they focus on data control and conformity, often resulting in limiting data access among all company employees.

The concept of a data democracy

In order to understand what Data Democracy is, it is important to know that it is not a governance model. Data Democracy refers to a corporate culture, an open model where liberty goes hand in hand with responsibility.

Data Democracy’s main objective is to make a company’s data widely accessible to the greatest number of people, if not to all. In practice, every employee is able to pull data values at any level.

A democratic approach presents an interesting challenge to balance: on the one hand, you must ensure that the right to use data can truly be exercised, and on the other hand you must counterbalance this right with a certain number of duties.

Building a data democracy

The adoption of a data culture can only work if everyone benefits, hence the importance of communication previously mentioned when discussing rights and responsibilities. The balance between the two must be positive in the end, and governance must not introduce more restrictions than gains. Finally, the results must be made easier.

To enable everyone to find the necessary information. That is the main objective of a data catalog, which must, even more so than its basic function (referencing data and associated metadata), offer simplicity of use in order to navigate through an ocean of information.

The new roles of agile data governance

Under the pressure of digital transformation, new roles appear within large companies.

The Chief Data Officer: the data democracy sponsor

Among them, there is the Chief Data Officer, or CDO. They are in charge of improving efficiency and the capacity to create value for the information ecosystem of their organization.

With the exponential development of data, the role of the CDO took on a new scope.

From now on, CDOs must reconsider the organization in a cross-functional and globalizing way, and governance and corporate data management technology in enterprises.

They must become the new leaders in “Data Democracy” within companies and must respond to the call of numerous “data citizens” who have understood that the way in which data is processed must change radically. The new CDOs must break the bonds of data silos.

Are we all Data Stewards?

The concept of Data Stewardship stems from a much more traditional model. The organizations that already have Data Stewards tend to be quite large and established.

Everyone who uses sensitive data engages their responsibility regarding the way they use it. The regulations for the protection of sensitive data – regulatory or internal – must be applied in the same manner for all those who enter contact with it.

This dedication to involving everyone helps distribute responsibility for data, giving a broader sense of ownership, which encourages users to explore data themselves, and lastly decompartmentalizes data.

Download our white paper: “How does Data Democracy strengthen Agile Data Governance?

To know more about the organization of agile data governance, the definition of Data Democracy, and its new roles, download our second edition “How does Data Democracy strengthen agile data governance?”