At our inaugural national meeting series earlier this year, we emphasized the importance of discussing data governance and analytics as enterprise processes rather than IT projects.
Framing BI and IT projects separately is important to win support from campus members because:
IT projects typically have an end: While traditional IT projects are finite and are delivered to campus members, analytics is a process without a clearly defined end.
Campus members may feel unskilled: Campus members may believe that if analytics is an IT project, they cannot contribute to the effort’s success due to a lack of technical skills.
Perception that IT has it under control: Analytics is a more expensive endeavor—in terms of systems as well as talent—than what IT alone can undertake, and analytics often requires investment from multiple campus partners.
Success isn’t assured for IT initiatives: Campus members have come to expect that some IT projects will fail, and they may give up at early signs of trouble with analytics.
Secure support from senior leadership
So how can we get senior leaders to communicate their support for data governance and analytics as enterprise processes? Here are five strategies they can execute:
- Attend all data governance committee meetings of which they are a member
- Attend kick-off meetings (even if they are not a standing member), request updates, and dedicate resources to the effort
- Discourage the use of phrases like “my data” and champion institutional data ownership and responsible sharing of data across the institution
- Assist data quality improvement efforts by informing business intelligence staff if data in reports seems incorrect
- Validate high-level decisions using central data and request that direct reports do the same