Data Governance & Quality Rock Stars

May 16, 2011
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One of my clients used to affectionately call me a Rock Star. Why? Because of a Bon Jovi documentary in which he talked frankly about life on the road – travel, being away from family and friends, sleeping in hotel rooms, having to give too much energy to logistics, and being rather isolated wherever you are except for those wonderful, exciting hours when you’re doing your job. “Bon Jovi might as well have been describing your life, Gwen!” my client said laughingly.

One of my clients used to affectionately call me a Rock Star. Why? Because of a Bon Jovi documentary in which he talked frankly about life on the road – travel, being away from family and friends, sleeping in hotel rooms, having to give too much energy to logistics, and being rather isolated wherever you are except for those wonderful, exciting hours when you’re doing your job. “Bon Jovi might as well have been describing your life, Gwen!” my client said laughingly.

But a few minutes ago I read another take on this. The expert below is exhorting colleagues to emulate Rock Stars.

“[We] need to be loud. We need to voice our concerns when it comes to understanding and assessing business risk in turbulent times. This takes courage, especially when management is racing to install the latest technology and our message is one of caution — of heightened risks because of missing controls and security, or hastily tested code — a message that many in the organization may not want to hear. Most of us fear the unknown, and risks in the new e-business world are alien.

[We need] courage: the courage to take on the real issues facing the organization, provide valuable assurance on the more important business risks, and speak out — even when sharing unpopular realities.

Many organizations have one or more of these unfortunate realities:

  • An immature risk management program.
  • Scattered information (often due to multiple computer systems), so executives don’t have timely, current, and reliable information on the operation of the business. They may even be reliant on Excel to consolidate key operational data, which is always at least a few days old.
  • Executives that don’t work as a team. They operate in silos, hoard instead of share information, and put divisional (or personal) objectives ahead of corporate goals.
  • A lack of sufficient skilled, experienced management and staff in key positions.
  • A poor record when it comes to delivering on major projects and strategies.

That’s where the rock star distinguishes herself/himself. The rock star [professional] stands up and talks about the emperor’s lack of clothes and makes sure people at the right level are fully aware of painful realities.”

Hmmm… Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? So many of us struggle to speak truth to power, to point out unfortunate realities, to sing loudly and proudly about a different way. Often we feel like we’re on our own, spending long lonely hours between our moments on stage. That’s one of the reasons we love conferences and seminars and online groups so much – they give us a chance to sing together. Data Governance, Information Quality, and Data Management pros love to sing together, in rich harmony.

And the author of the blog that is excerpted above? Would it surprise you to know that it’s Normal Marks, an internal auditor? Hmmm… same song, different verse.  Read his entire post at http://tinyurl.com/3b5xd8u.