Six Critical Components to Enterprise Data Warehouse Governance

At the Teradata User Group meeting in Toronto I attended a great session lead by Betty Knight of Teradata.  Before I jump in I had one great observation on this presentation – it was good and mixed tech and bus together nicely.  So here are my observations:

As in previous discussions – creating a clear and agreed upon definition of EDW governance is the starting point and Betty did just that.  Here are the definitions of the role:

  • Oversea the affairs of the EDW – doing it right.  Right people doing the right thing at the right time in the right way.  Clearly this is an objective ‘right’ as this means different things to different people, but I think that goes with the course.
  • Single Point of Authority / Direction creating alignement to the vision, strategy, direction, metrics, priorities, standards, principles of the EDW program for all levels of the organization into the EDW.
  • Communication – I think this part us under valued and often skimped on.  This role is about working with people that you do not have ownership over and so you need to influence attitudes and activities through transparent and open communication.  You also need to evangelize the value proposition and show how you are meeting metrics of the organizations success.

In walking through the components of Governance Betty broke it down into the following six areas:

  1. Set it up under the structure of a Program not a Project.  The EDW is a program not a project.  You may have a project build it at
    the begining, but it is a program and needs to be run that way.
  2. Vision / Strategy – know where you are going, why and how to articulate this vision clearly and concisely in association with the organizations objectives.
  3. Improvement Opportunities – what projects align us to the objectives of the program and how do you prioritize them.
  4. Data Certification – what is the data needed and the state of the data (what has that data been certified for from a purpose point of view).
  5. Service Level Agreements – set them up, measure them and review them often as the world of the EDW changes and morphs as the program evolves.
  6. Stakeholder Support / involvement – this is the sales side of the job.  As this role does not come with it’s own budget, you are working through others to leverage the value of this asset.  So Evangelize, Communicate the stories, Involve the stakeholders in regular forums.  And celebrate successes.
  1. Helen Walker Reply

    Betty has also written a great article for Terradata Magazine which can be found at:
    http://www.teradata.com/t/page/138736/index.html
    I also found this white paper from Data Management & Warehousing very useful too:
    http://www.datamgmt.com/index.php?module=article&view=78

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