For some employees, controlling the data they create and manage is a way to exert some influence on their working environment.
Sales staff, for example, are often reluctant to share data that relates to “their” customer, Lapkin explains. “People hold information very close to their chest,” she says. “They think it’s critical to their ability to do their job.”
Data governance, however, requires that employees understand the value of data to the whole organisation and act in such a way as to maximise that value.
There is no established best practice for how to effect such a cultural change. Lapkin believes that articulating a common business goal may be enough to convince employees to become more open about data, but others feel that financial incentives and even contractual obligations might be necessary.
“If you’ve got a call centre where people are being paid to collect the data as quickly as possible, but the quality of information you’re collecting is poor, there’s a knock-on cost,” says Bloor’s Howard. “Quality needs to be built into the contract that the call centre workers sign.”
Assert common definitions