Creating a ‘data council’ is perhaps the most commonly cited component of a data governance strategy.
A council will usually be formed of a variety of stakeholders who are charged with devising governance ‘policies’ for the business. These policies might include rules on data security, quality and compliance. Once agreed upon, the theory goes, policies are then distributed down through the organisation to other employees.
But simply establishing a data council does not necessarily lead to successful policy-making. Initiate’s research found that about 40% of businesses that have done so judged them to be “not very effective”.
According to Philip Howard, research director at Bloor Research, the success of data councils depends on who sits on them. He says their make-up should be “fluid” and flexible to the requirements of individual data governance projects at various stages of their development.
For example, if a project involves customer relationship management data in its initial stage, the council should be saturated with sales and marketing executives. But as the strategy progresses to include other divisions of the business, the make-up of the council should also evolve to reflect this.
Appoint a council leader