Master Data Management: How to Avoid that ‘Pie in Your Face’ Moment

July 22, 2011
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MDM and Data Governance 300x200 photo (master data management)

Author: Linda Rosencrance
Spotfire Blogging Team

MDM and Data Governance 300x200 photo (master data management)

Author: Linda Rosencrance
Spotfire Blogging Team

If there’s any good news that’s come out of the phone hacking scandal involving Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., it’s that now maybe other companies will pay more attention to corporate governance.

As I’m sure you’re aware Murdoch shut down his News of the World tabloid in the face of allegations that its employees hacked into cellphones and voicemails of various victims to get a better story or a scoop.

 Murdoch has said he didn’t know anything about anyone in his organization committing any crimes until it was too late. He’s also admitted he was blind sided and did not have full oversight in the operations of his media empire. But it doesn’t appear that the scandal involving Murdoch’s News Corp. came as a surprise to everyone. According to this article in Fortune Magazine, the organization’s investors, insurers, lawyers, and others who had read the “Governance Analysis” research report on the company from The Corporate Library, were well aware of the problems of corporate governance.

In the report the research firm gives companies letter grades from A to F for their corporate governance. For the past six years, the research firm has given News Corp. an F—only because there’s no lower grade, according to the article.

How does that relate to data analytics you ask? In a previous post we discussed  how the interest in Master Data Management has been on the increase for the past few years. Well like a corporation, MDM is useless without appropriate governance and quality procedures. The entire data management infrastructure must be mature in order for MDM to be effectively implemented. The bottom line is if you don’t have quality data that’s governed effectively and available in real-time, you can’t make the decisions that are best for your business. And that can lead to poor performance and poor results, according to Kelle O’Neal (@firstsanfranmdm), Founder and Managing Partner of First San Francisco Partners, and an expert in data governance.

Good data governance can make it easier to do that, but the problem, as O’Neal sees it, is that business and IT can’t seem to agree on who should be responsible for data governance.

For data governance to be successful, business and IT have to understand their roles and they have to work together—business has to define the company’s goals and IT has to provide the support to help the business reach those goals, O’Neal said. But the business should take the lead because it has the ultimate responsibility for implementing the data governance initiative.

If you want to know more about your responsibility when it comes to corporate governance read O’Neal’s article because she’s done a super job explaining it. Then if you’re ever called to appear before Parliament or the U.S. Congress, you’ll be able to answer key questions about how your business operates—and with any luck you won’t have to worry about getting hit in the face with a mock (or real) cream pie.