People, processes and policies take priority over technology when it comes to implementing a data governance initiative, according to David Dadoun, director of business intelligence and data governance at the Montreal-based Aldo Group Inc. Dadoun spoke with SearchCIO at this year's Real Business Intelligence Conference, where he gave an overview of why Aldo's data governance program is so important to the business. In this video, he explains the importance of establishing a set of guidelines to manage enterprise data assets and shares an example of how data governance can inform BI strategy.
What technology did you invest in when implementing the data governance initiative at Aldo?
David Dadoundirector of business intelligence and data governance, Aldo Group
David Dadoun: Data governance isn't really a technology project; it's more of a people and processes project. Data governance is about setting the policies and guidelines and the strategy about how we're going to manage and curate our data. Technology really wasn't a factor. We didn't have a key technology in which we invested.
What was a major challenge you faced in getting the business to own governance and how did you overcome that?
Dadoun: I was very lucky, because trying to get the business to own their data can be quite challenging. But at Aldo, this was a natural thing. I started at the Aldo Group reporting to the CFO, who was essentially the executive sponsor of the data governance initiative. This data governance initiative was essentially born in the business. I didn't have to go out and fight and try and convince people that data governance belonged in the business. It already did.
You gave a real BI example at Aldo during your talk. How did the problem get presented to you?
Dadoun: What was very interesting about this real BI example regarding data governance was the fact that it was the business user that came to me. We were discussing how his department functions and what they do. He brought up the challenges that he was experiencing in terms of data quality and accessibility of information, and we came up with probable solutions that we would be able to use. It was a joint effort but brought to me by the business. We weren't the ones that went out and said, 'Hey, you got to do something different.'