Data Management: Marketing Your Data Governance Efforts

Have you ever wondered why the all the hard work you do doesn't seem to be appreciated? Chances are it's because your not "Marketing" your efforts correctly or to the right people within your organization.

It doesn't matter if your doing Data Quality, Data Modeling or Database Administration - marketing (communicating) your efforts to the folks that matter within your organization is critical if you'd like to gain some recognition and a chance to step into the limelight every once and a while.

Over the last couple weeks I've had two great opportunities to do some marketing for our Data Governance group here at my shop. The first opportunity was provided to me when I was asked to "talk about data" to my shop's Client Advisory Board. Imagine if you will that you were standing in front of a whole slew of people who pretty much don't know all that much about data - what would you say? Well, I told them "what they need to know about data" which primarily focused on why good data was important to them and how we do things differently then the other guys - who we believe don't focus on data (Coke vs. Pepsi kind of thing).

My second opportunity to do some marketing came early this week when I was asked to present to the senior managers, executives and sales teams at my shop. During this opportunity I didn't have to stress "why data is important" - they all get this as data is one of the life-bloods of our business. I focused the discussion on what we do to have good data, what we do good, what we could do better and what our team would love to do with data over the next year or two. During the discussion I found that our list of "what we want to do" came very close to what everyone else wanted to do - but a few things dropped off our list at one point or another so it was good to hear other perspectives. My favorite "request" was from the sales team who asked us to create some slide-ware and a one page "data sheet" talking about how our Data Governance group gives us a competitive advantage over our competitors (again, Coke vs. Pepsi kind of thing).

Socializing your Data Governance program is by no means a new concept.
A few months ago Jill Wanless wrote about what she calls "Guerrilla tactics" or "Guerrilla Marketing" being an option for socializing your program. Here's another link to a post by Jill which continues to discuss communication of your efforts. Steve Sarsfield talks at depth about communication of Data Governance programs in his book "The Data Governance Imperative".

Believe it or not, I've come to the realization that success in any type of Data Governance program is as much about the marketing (communication) as it is about getting the projects done. Communication needs to be treated as an objective from the start - so make sure it's listed as a deliverable on your project plans and if it isn't your program will never really be considered a success (unless someone else does the marketing for you).

Until next time...Rich


Sheezaredhead said…
Great post Rich and thanks very much for the mention!
I couldn't agree more with your post! Communications and Marketing are so vitally important they should be part of every data governance initiative. Effective communication can also reduce change management efforts and is critical to obtain understanding and acceptance!
I would be very interested in learning more about your pitch (slide-ware) around you competitive advantage if you can share.
Anonymous said…
Hi Rich,

I like the ideas -

Like Jill, I would love to see more specific examples.

Ray said…
Hi Rich,

In addition to Data Governance/Data Quality initiatives, we also participate on many ERP projects (SAP).

We have started to see a couple of clients engage PR/Communications resources for their project teams to participate as consultants and help share the project goals and strategy to the business groups as part of a campaign.

This has been very well received.


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