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Data Governance

Posted by Laura Mauersberger

kid.jpgDear son,

I know that you always ask me what I do, but maybe you do not understand it yet. I will try to explain what a Data Governance Architect does in a way you and your friends can understand.

Let me start by explaining what data even is... data is anything important (or not so) that you want to remember in a future... for example:

  • Your Angry Birds high-score?  That is data! Saved on your phone's memory.
  • Your birthday? Data (and a very important one)! And that data is saved in my head.
  • Your school grades? Data! Saved and printed on paper to bring home and be hung on the fridge.

But not only people have data, also companies have them, for example, your doctor has data about his patients; their age, their height, their temperature and other statistics... but he also remembers that time you were diagnosed with a big cat allergy and he had to give you a cortisol shot. Why is this important? Because all of this data can help save time and unnecessary testing next time you come in with puffy eyes... they will simply ask you if you were in contact with cats... also, if you ever have an accident, the doctor will look at his data and know not to prescribe penicillin to you.

Another example?

Your favorite store: Lego. When you bought the new Star Wars Lego set, the store remembered when you bought it, at which mall, how much you paid and if you paid with your piggy-bank savings or me with my credit card. So why does Lego want this data or need it? Well, it might want to send you (or me) an email when the new Star Wars BB8 Lego comes out as they know that you are interested in the Star Wars franchise. Also, if you opened the Lego, and it was not what you expected, you can just take the receipt (data!) and return it... And so Lego knows that you bought it from them, and not from some other person on ebay.

Another important thing to know is how many Star Wars Legos were sold this month... This helps them determine how popular the item is and if it is, they will choose to keep it in stock... if not, they might not restock the item.

So where do I come in? Well, usually everything does not work as well as it should, machines and people can make mistakes (or machines break down) and data can go missing, be entered falsely etc. It is my job to make sure that the data is correct and also to determine what we can do with this data.

One example would be that day, when we went to the themepark and they asked you if you wanted a membership card... you said yes and gave your address. They said they would send it to you in a few weeks, but.... we moved... so we called to update your address and now in their systems they have two different ones. Well, here is where I come into play and help them figure these things out (for example using the data: "date" address was entered, I can see that the newer one is the correct one). 

So the short version? I usually spend my day helping organizations figure out how to use the data they have collected appropriately and this way help both, them and their customers, giving both an experience without any hurdles on the way.

How do I oversee all of this? Easy! I use LeanIX, an Enteprise Architecture Management tool which not only lets me create automatic reports with the collected data, but also lets me use real-time metrics, to get instant and accurate data on anything I wish.

Of course this is not all, but I just wanted to give you a quick peek into what I do.



P.S. If you think that you are ready to learn more about data... I dare you to read this:

LeanIX Metrics – Data Is Only Valuable in the Right Context