Data Governance Kitchen
Episode 3: When trying to sell the benefits of Data Governance

What ROI (€) can I expect if I spend time and resources in a data governance initiative?

Laurent Dresse, Data Governance Evangelist:

For me, this is the $1 million question and I wish I would have a straight answer. Unfortunately, I don’t have it.

Why? Well, data governance as such will not bring dollar or euro value straight back to your organization, but it’s more the foundations of other aspects, like data quality, for example.

If we take quality, we can check how much time it takes to resolve data quality issues, identify the data flows, identify the data owners, and identify the data transformation, and the time you gain with data governance and data catalog in this process will be the first return on investment and gain because you spend less time and fewer resources.

We can as well take the example of a project migration and the time it takes to identify your data assets or your technical scope. I’ve been part of many of these projects in the past. It’s always difficult to identify the right person and you can spend days or weeks trying to have this overview.

With your data catalog and with your data governance in place, you have a one-point or one “shop” stop which can easily facilitate and accelerate this identification, and of course, you will gain time at the end of the project.

And my last comment will be a bit more sarcastic. You can compare data governance to accounting. Do you calculate the return on investment of your accounting department? No, you don’t because it’s a support function.

And this is the way you should see data governance in an organization and have it support the rest of the enterprise and not be a cost center for instance.

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