Is information an asset or a resource? (part 11)

Product Director, Master Data Governance

The overall acceptance of the idea of an MDM program, especially when it is driven by IT strategy, depends on the organizational culture. It is easier to get an organizational and executive buy-in in the organizations that have developed mature policies on their informational assets and data governance practices.

Some companies have already recognized information as a key corporate asset. These companies have created dedicated roles and positions responsible for informational assets, like chief data officer (CDO), dedicated data governance officers, data stewards and other roles specifically dedicated to information development as a line of business, complete with KPIs and target metrics.

Even if your organization is not there yet with formally defined data governance positions, the organizational mindset and attitude towards information, information governance and information development are important for defining and building an MDM business case.

Almost every organization has a high-level data policy that states the importance of data and information for the organization. When the organization is working on a justification for MDM, it may be a good idea to review the data policies and augment them if needed by asking questions:

  • Do your data policies require that information be managed as a corporate asset?
  • Do your data policies require accountabilities through metrics and KPIs for informational assets?

Many organizations have had data policies that do not set any specific requirements for data metrics and accountabilities. The stakeholders may find it convenient as such policies do not force or even prompt any actions. These organizations do not really manage information as an asset but rather as a resource for business applications.

Information-as-an-Asset and Information-as-a-Resource are two different organizational philosophies, and it is important to understand where your organization stands and where it needs to be.

More demanding data governance policies call for an adherence to the principles of accountability, transparency, traceability and measurability for the quality of key data assets. Adoption of these principles is likely to help justify MDM in general and facilitate an adoption and use of the Economic Value method for MDM business case.

Next week: the conclusion to this series on building a business case for MDM. Do you have any questions that haven’t yet been answered? Ask them in the comments.

Catch up on the entire series so far: