How to change perception of DG from “police” to “enabler”?



Posted by XXXXXX on September 20, 2022 at 8:08 pm

Due to the nature of Data Governance with defining rules, policies and guidelines and monitoring compliance, DG can often be perceived as the “police” and sometimes even as the “road blocks” in data projects.

How can we change that?
I believe the key lies all in the communication, and that everything DG does is communicated transparently and with impact statements.

We started a company-internal weekly talk show series to have the DG team members discuss with a key stakeholder, and it started breaking the barrier and puts us already in a light of being more communicative and trustworthy.

What measures have you taken, and what was successful for you?




 September 20, 2022 at 11:23 pm



I have felt this struggle to my very core! The majority of my work is in compliance and I operate in a heavily regulated space. I used to feel like the bad guy, since I sometimes have to tell my team we have to drop opportunities due to compliance or I’m holding up a deal because of back-and-forth in the vetting process.

When my company was smaller, we used to do quarterly all hands conferences, and I took the time earlier this year to speak with my teams about changing the way we feel about compliance. I emphasized the following principles:

Going slow early allows us to go fast later

Taking governance seriously early on was always the hardest sell for me, because obviously everyone wants to close deals quickly. I gathered all the types of questions and roadblocks that come up after a deal is close that slows down business and breaks down trust – and showed how serious compliance vetting eliminates those issues and allows for smooth sailing throughout the life of a deal afterwards.

Strong Data Governance allows us to catch opportunities we might have missed

When vetting partners and customers, we also use it as an opportunity to get to know these parties and their businesses as a whole. It’s a good time to do some relationship building but more importantly, we find additional solutions or offerings that benefit everyone when we take the time to be thorough.

Reframing Data Governance as a bonus and not a chore

This is the principle that probably captures everything in this post – but I’ve encourage my teams to talk about our compliance process as a plus. We tell partners and customers about the benefits of a strong data governance program (stronger customer trust, being able to enter markets with strong data regulations, no worry of regulatory punishment) and get them excited to participate.

I completely agree that success lies in communication – I think reinforcing these principles annually will benefit my teams, and most of all, me