Earlier today, I had a discussion with one of our customers about the difference between data governance and analytics governance. He is an enterprise architect at a well-known company and is responsible for the overall data strategy. His reasoning was that there is no need to separate data and analytics governance because, ultimately, they are the same. And from a conceptual point of view, I agree — they both contain the same elements and they also share a common goal; to bring trust and confidence to your users.
I would agree that data governance and analytics governance can and probably should share the same governance framework. But if that is the case, we need to prioritize flexibility. Do not forget that the success of an analytics tool is all about giving the user what they need while also keeping up with the constant change of those needs.
A governance framework should not slow you down
One of the main reasons for having a governance framework is to provide an environment where we can deliver insights to the end-user in a quick way without compromising the quality. With that in mind, we need to make sure that the governance process is not something that will slow us down. Remember, combatting the issue of data being delivered too slow was the reason BI tools were developed in the first place. The trick here is to automate as much as possible in your governance process. For example, if your deployment framework is important for you, educate your developer on it. But do not check the transformations and data sources manually. Instead, find a tool that will do this in an automated way!
Transparency is your friend
In order for a framework to be adopted, it needs to be easy to access and also easy to understand. Create a few documents that explain the framework but, most importantly, create useful tools that visualize your framework and make sure that these tools are accessible to everyone. I would argue that if you have a user-friendly tool for this, you can even invite your super users from the business side. Giving them an insight into this will make them more committed to supporting you in your governance work.
My tips for a successful analytics governance framework are:
- A governance framework should speed up, NOT slow down, your development process
- Automation is KEY
- Keep it simple
- Embrace transparency — don’t make it only an “IT product”