Data Governance makes a huge difference in properly decluttering your data house. Certainly, you’ve either cleaned the house of a hoarder or watched the show about how others do. You know that assessing, organizing and determining what to keep and what to trash is a grueling process.

For most enterprises, cleaning the “data house” is no different, but it has to happen. This is especially the case if building a data governance framework is a priority. If your team is tasked with clearing the clutter, here are a few useful tips to keep in mind:

Align IT and the business for Data Governance

Both of these teams need to jointly take ownership of the data landscape. They must also mutually agree on what policies need to be established. Executive sponsors are also essential to governance success. They not only provide funding and organizational support, but they can be valuable in mitigating scenarios if there is resistance to change.

Identify your clean-up crew

Similar to cleaning up a hoarded house, you need a team that assists in removing what doesn’t belong in the data house and can maintain it over time. They can’t be afraid of a mess and must be motivated to navigate through the piles to keep what’s treasured.

Overly communicate

Open communication is important in any aspect of effective collaboration. However, when it comes to solidifying new processes, get ready to repeat yourself over and over. Old habits die hard. If data stewards with write/edit access aren’t aware of new processes or aren’t motivated, enabled or empowered to change their routines, then all efforts will eventually become undone.

Don’t expect a one-time clean-up

Even after processes and guidelines have been established, unwanted items can filter in and empty corners can easily refill with clutter. Eliminating hoards are half the battle, the other half is maintaining cleanliness. Teams will have to return to the job site occasionally for tidying up.

Know limitations and fill gaps

If you don’t have the internal bandwidth to lead a data governance effort with existing teams, look to outside resources. Data consultants can quickly assess the current state of your data hoard, as well as determine what changes your organization can make to gain quick traction and control within the landscape. They can also architect a roadmap of activities that will promote long-term collaboration and diligence across teams.

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