Get your Board on board

You already know that a better data management framework will increase efficiency and positively impact on business decisions. But how do you get your executive to agree?

If you are trying to build a business case for your organisation to invest in data governance, you already know the benefits such investment would bring. You understand better data governance tools will lead to better quality of data and better monitoring.

Often, the hardest part is getting Board and executive buy-in. The key is to start making the business case early, and in business terms. Although every company wants to be “data driven” as an ideal, a decision to invest is more likely to be made if you can explain the impact of a new data management strategy on your organisation’s business outcomes. The technology here must come second.

Find out how much poor-quality data is costing your organisation right now. Is a large percentage of your workforce unable to perform its primary job adequately because of bad data, as it was found with 23 per cent of a major Australian bank’s workforce last year? Is your customer data degenerating? Gartner estimates such data typically degenerates at 2 per cent per month.

Does your Board have conflicting reports presented to them by separate teams, and with seemingly incongruous statistics? Better data management can change that for them. It can mean bringing data which has been monitored and approved by the right people, and been given the right business context. Build a picture for your executive of what trusted data can mean for business decision making, including that your vision for data management can minimise risk and assist your company recognise operational opportunities ahead of your competitors.

EC Integrators has the following tips for building a business case for investment into data governance:

Tailor your pitch – familiarise yourself with your audience: their background, knowledge, and what specific problems they are currently facing with the business. How will your pitch answer those problems for them?
Frame the issue – focus on where your proposal can get the most value and the initial quick wins. Don’t paint your vision too broadly here, be specific and trust your audience will intuitively understand how this fits into the big picture.
Choose your timing wisely – this is critical, as not every part of an organisation’s lifecycle is the right time to invest in new architecture. Your executive may be more open to ideas after a large organisational shift, for example.
Build a coalition – get others involved, and from different divisions of your organisation. Data is more than just an ‘IT issue’, so build a team of evangelists who understand why a new data framework will make their lives easier. Your case will be infinitely more persuasive if the call for change is coming from multiple parts of the business.
In today’s world, following the money means following the data. And when you put it in those terms, executive buy-in should not be far away.

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