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ALDO's data governance initiative: Driving insights, growth

Implementing a data governance program is imperative for organizations looking to gain actionable insights from data and spur business growth, according to David Dadoun, director of business intelligence and data governance at the Montreal-based ALDO Group.

Dadoun spoke with SearchCIO at the recent Real Business Intelligence conference, where he provided an overview of the company's data governance initiative and explained how it's helping reinforce the e-commerce company's BI processes. He also explained why the data governance program is part of the organization's overall strategic initiatives and why the IT team is a strong proponent of it.

Below are excerpts from the interview; click on the player button to hear the interview in its entirety.

Tell us about the data governance initiative at your company.

David Dadoun: Data governance is a very broad topic. We started off by essentially creating that data governance charter and worked with our different teams in order to be able to brand and market the data governance initiative. We started off by marketing it and branding it as this 'data-plus initiative,' rather than a data governance initiative, in order to have a word that was more agreeable to the corporate culture. But that has changed now, and people are embracing the 'data governance' terminology.

Over the last two years, we've been going through a massive ERP implementation, and people are starting to understand the benefits and the needs of having a data governance strategy and a data governance program in place that can support us.

We started off by marketing it and branding it as this 'data-plus initiative,' rather than data governance initiative, in order to have a word that was more agreeable to the corporate culture.

What was the data governance program like before you joined ALDO?

Dadoun: I joined the ALDO Group in 2014 to implement the data governance program. They had already started on their BI initiative before I joined. The company was well underway in BI, and they knew that they needed to put in place some type of data governance program in order to support the BI initiative, to support the company's growth, and manage and leverage actionable data.

You report to the head of strategy. Why do you report to the strategy department, and what's your relationship with the CIO?

Dadoun: At ALDO, everything that's business intelligence, analytics and data governance are viewed as strategic initiatives. That's the reason why it fits under the strategy department; it's going to help support our company's growth. Information and data are the assets that are going to help companies grow in the future and be successful; that's the main reason why we fit into that department.

Of course, anything that's data-related needs support from IT, and I work very closely with the CIO and with others in the IT department in order to make sure that we have the proper processes and controls in place. This isn't a one-department show. We are essentially part of one big, happy family, where we're all working together toward the same objective. IT is a very strong supporter of having a data governance program in place. 

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