The Chief Data Office and role of the Chief Data Officer are relatively new concepts and gaining traction across all sectors: Commercial, Non-profits, Education and the Government
The innate purpose of the office and position is to unlock and harness the intelligence hidden in the data through harvesting reliable data and analytics, thus propelling growth and positioning data as an asset. As companies are realizing the benefits, the required attention from the C-Suite is flowing in. However, much needs to be done to tap into this possibility.
In addition to attention, as in any initiative that is transformational in nature, establishing and implementing a successful CDO function takes investment, time, a willingness to challenge established norms and practices, and the right know-how.
The role of a Chief Data Officer is a business role, but for the program to be a success, wide-spread Business-Technology expertise is required as the expectations are high and the function must cover all aspects of the business while having a sound grasp of platform, technology and data challenges / opportunities within the business structure.
We understand that it is difficult to find candidates with the suitable background and in many situations it makes more sense to groom someone from within the company. Even if you find the right person to lead the initiative, the know-how, planning, effort and cross-functional knowledge required to define and shape a program that is suited for your organization should not be underestimated.
Based on years of experience from working through situations similar to yours, we are uniquely positioned to help you with your CDO needs
- organization & function
- data governance
- data quality
- roadmap & program
Setting up the right organization is foundational for building a well-thought out and impactful Chief Data Office program
We work with you to define the global and function level big-picture data aspirations of your company as it relates to your business-value-chain and unique company situation.
A sample set of engagement activities under this category include:
- Sponsor & executive interviews
- Stakeholder, SME and champions identification
- Functional overlap analysis across various Business and IT areas
- Based on information gathered from interviews and assessments, identify organizational reporting structure for CDO
- Evaluate current state challenges with data, analytics, platform, delivery and usage
- Identify and capture regulatory and compliance impacts
- Analysis of data owners, producers and consumers and any external impacts
- Define the operating set-up, within the business unit and across parent / holding company structures as applicable
- Communication strategy, high-level definition of roles and responsibilities, reporting and escalation process as well as defining domain-level authority for decisions related to data
- Interview and identify potential candidates from within the organization / externally for key CDO positions
Many of these items will be revisited and modified as needed, during the Data Governance roll-out phase.
While Data Governance may be interchangeably used to denote the entire CDO program, and includes Data Quality function as well, our view of Data Governance is that it mainly covers two things:
- Implementing a foundation for Data Governance: This covers program-level goals, strategic vision, definition of policy guidelines and related core processes to ensure that the data will be well managed.
A sample set of engagement activities under this category includes:
- Establishing data council, steering committee, working groups
- Evaluate data management process-flow, ownership and people / organizational influencers
- Create Data Management Policy, Procedure, Operating Framework and Guidelines to support the governance activities
- Revisit Iist of stakeholders, sponsors and power-users, along with managing communication, training and adoption
- Definition of specific data governance structure, roles and responsibilities including establishing data domains, data owners, data stewardship, technical data guardians / custodians, and subject-matter-experts
Our services under this category includes:
- Defining responsibility and ownership for scope management, book-of-work, prioritization, approvals, overrides, handling special scenarios and change management
- Establishing the toolsets and infrastructure required for ensuring seamless management of Data Governance activities
- Establishing processes and criteria for identifying and managing critical data
- Definition of processes for project work & issue fix and process linkages to mainstream delivery / implementation
- Managing capture and maintenance of Metadata, Lineage and Traceability in project and BAU mode
Our leadership team has extensive experience with defining, setting up and managing end-to-end data governance processes from the ground up for multiple large companies operating in highly regulated industries. Based on that first hand knowledge, we have a clear understanding of what works, what doesn’t and why. The key success factor is ensuring that we partner with you to define a process that works for your specific situation.
Potential areas of engagement:
- Current state analysis and need articulation through interviews.
- Creation of detailed Business Case, Strategy and Roadmap.
- Data Governance Organization and framework design.
- Structure / Process / Content definition - Domains, Councils / Working groups, Stakeholder, RACI, Workflows, cross-functional hand-off, data certification, metadata, lineage and traceability.
- Defining and Writing Policy, Framework, Procedures and Standards Documents.
- Collaborate across the three-lines-of-defense (3LOD) model and establish Operating, Escalation and Remediation procedures.
- Information Lifecycle Management - Audit, Access Control, Data Privacy, Security, Retention, Archival, Detective and Preventive Controls, Data Sharing agreements, Cross-Border data utilization, Affiliate Sharing and more..
- Define Data Governance Reporting, Communication, Training, Roll-Out and Adoption strategies.
The above list is not a comprehensive set of items. Data Governance is a broad field and if this list does not show an area that you need help with, please reach out directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The quality of your decisions, when they are based on insights & information derived from reports, dashboards and analytics, is intrinsically dependent on the quality of the data produced by your business processes
Until recently, Data Quality was largely a neglected concept and more of an after-thought for business leaders or assumed to be an IT-only responsibility.
Over the last decade, there is a gaining focus on the quality of data that is generated by the business processes, data that is used for critical decisions made by the management, and data that is used for reporting company’s performance. This transformation is largely driven by a combination of regulatory & compliance mandates, expectations for tighter and transparent financial & accounting practices from federal and watchdog agencies, as well as a heightened awareness and enhanced demand from customers, vendors, investors, employees and shareholders.
To add to this, there is tremendous opportunity that lies in rightly leveraging good quality data, from prospecting to customer acquisition and retention to product development to process improvement, strategic efficiency improvement and a whole range of business functions that can be improved or reinvented using good quality actionable data.
To capitalize on this growing opportunity, product vendors have pumped large-scale investments into building their products to address Data Quality. However, tools are effective enablers only when combined with the right level of attention, commitment, strategy, process and organization from the company.
We can help you get comprehensive Data Quality management right
Our team of experts has defined, designed, executed and managed Data Quality programs at large, regulated companies for several years that addressed issues and maximized opportunities beyond just Data Quality. Some of this experience involved complex cross-line of business interaction, working with globally distributed teams and stakeholders, holding company / global parent scenario, and interaction with regulators from US Feds and European Community Bank (ECB).
If you don’t know where you want to go, any road will lead you there
A great strategy is only as good as how effectively it is being executed. For your vision and strategy to deliver realistic and tangible results, a roadmap and a multi-phase program is critical.
A well-defined CDO roadmap and program / project pipeline, considers several of the analyses done during current state assessments. The inputs range from challenges, opportunitues, talent, existing infrastructure and toolsets, the learning curve, company culture, barriers to adoption, stakeholder and champion pool and many more.
There is a window of opportunity in any new large-scale transformative initiative. During this initial phase, people are more receptive to engaging and listening, This is also a phase when status quo can be challenged effectively.
Depending on where you are in the CDO journey, there are some foundational things that must be done to ensure that the next wave of projects builds over this foundation. As such, the order in which these activities are implemented is important.
From our experience defining and managing large scale data initiatives and chief data office programs, we have learned a great deal, both from our successes and failures. We want to help you fast-track your initiatives with that know-how, navigating you and your teams from potential pitfalls, while ensuring that you build a highly impactful roadmap and program that can deliver on your promises to your executives and company.
The Chief Data Office is also responsible for ownership, oversight or direct management of the following:
- Data Strategy
- Information Life-cycle Management
- Process Governance & Controls
- MIS / Reporting / Analytics
These are covered under our Data Management Services offering under Data & Advanced Analytics section
It is better to manage the business ownership, direction, decision and governance aspects of these items under the CDO group, and to partner closely with IT for the technical / implementation aspects and with Business teams for MIS / Reporting usage, adoption and transformation. This will ensure close alignment with long-term business strategy. But we strongly stress the importance of setting up a model that will work best for your company situation determined by organizational overlap / delineation, available talent level and appetite for change.