From Business Problems to Use Cases – Kickstarting Data Governance the right way

How Incept Builds upon and Augments the Informatica Data Governance Starter Pack
May 7, 2014
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If you take a use case out of a large enterprise and try to reverse engineer the thought process and computations that went into it, it might just throw you off a little bit. You need a strict, controlled method, of streamlining the the processes and identify where you are going to get these use cases from.

Your first achievement in the process of laying a robust data governance framework down, is getting the first data governance use case for your business.  If you take a use case out of a large enterprise and try to reverse engineer the thought process and computations that went into it, it might just throw you off a little bit. You may find it hard to come to terms with the time, investment, and resources, that solid data governance and effective data management demand. But the focus weighing upon data quality and the increasing complexity of regulations get you concerned about your business. You invest in a data governance tool without factoring in the business problems that need focus; make a wobbly start; throw a bunch of resources at it; watch the ship as it sinks. 

If  it sounds nothing like your own data governance situation or if you are confident that your business will never land in such a ditch, awesome, you have earned yourself some peace. But if you are at the pre-implementation stage where you are still counting your options; if you are  searching for the sweet spot to start your data management exercises; or if you think, your data governance tool is not yielding the results you had expected in terms of acquiring a use case then your business is in a state of crisis and it is time you found a bite-sized, time-boxed solution dedicated to help you get the first use case, and run with it.

Identifying the first lever to pull

There are a number of determining factors in and around your business that you would want to include among the use cases. Starting at the right spot with an appropriate tool and the best equipped people can make all the difference between success and failure.

The first step is to examine these factors and score them in terms of value and complexity. The idea is to narrow down on a business problem that rates high in value and low in complexity. 

How does one rate value?

There are three determinants of value. Or, let us say, there are three simple questions, the answers to which will lead you to an empirical determination of value. 

1. Will there be a gain in revenue?

If focusing on a certain business problem results in a direct increment in revenue, the value added to it is quite empirical and easily perceptible.

2. Will there be a reduction in cost?

Streamlined data management should reduce cost of operations in some form; that  is an important determinant.

3. Is there a legal compliance benefit based on the use case? 

 oftentimes we may not be able to classify a lever in terms of reduction of cost or gain in revenue. But if there is a legal or compliance benefit; if it allows you to be GDPR compliant, it is very important. And that is where its value lies.

These value factors may differ according to the circumstances and the goals of an organisation. For instance, a regional bank wanted to expand to a federated model. So, one critical value factor was – what allows you to expand? And grow from a regional to a federated model. That was a very project-specific factor, only used for that company which perhaps, does not apply in other cases.

How we, at Incept lead our clients to their first data governance use case 

We follow a very strict, controlled method, to guide them through the process and help identify where they are going to get these use cases from. When called upon for assistance, we go into the environment; we list down all the business problems through standard business analysis methods; we interview the stakeholders, ask questions, and make a determination. We often make a use case out of each of them, thus going from a business problem to a use case. 

We pick the determining factors, put numbers against them and then we get to the last step, which is plotting and assessing the heatmap. The results of these assessments help us draw the clients’ attention to certain business problems with high value and low complexity.

Hit the ground running with the DG starter pack

You need to start paying attention towards the data lifecycle running within your organization. You cannot put methodical data governance exercises off for later and run with your rag-tag, siloed data handling. Missing out on the great boons of data analytics is the least of your concerns if you are working with siloed systems, inconsistent data quality, and poor governance.

Your best option is to start small with the Informatica data governance starter pack. And no one handles that better than Incept. We have a small army of experts in data governance, data quality, and master data management that can help you with the fast, cookie-cutter solution that you need to get your first use case within 12 weeks.

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