Who’s Taking Care of all the Data? How to Approach Data Governance

Who’s Taking Care of all the Data? How to Approach Data Governance
March 21, 2016 Sandy Sara

Single-customer view. Omni-channel communications. Taking customers on a journey. 

All of these marketing sayings have become very popular over the last few years and its safe to assume that its also where people want to get to. To say, at any point of time that you are looking at a database of customers or prospects that you can identify future purchase habits, preferences or even where they sit in your sales funnel you should consider yourself in a very good place.

Does Your Company Have a Solid Data Governance Framework?

Just like any activity, it takes practise to get this right. Having a solid data governance framework is the beginning and the end of achieving success in the following areas of your business:

  • Data Hygiene
  • Data Recycling
  • Who has access to the data

Imagine for a moment, that you are standing in a top restaurant’s kitchen area. All the people in front of you have one job – to deliver a food experience like no other. These same people need to work together to deliver this experience, however some of them will never talk to one another unless absolutely necessary. Someone has the wrong type of vegetables and they tell the Sous Chef to add it to the meal. The Sous Chef knows it might not be right but has to take the risk to get the plate out the door and onto the table.

What if there was someone that took the time to make sure the vegetables were correct and organised so it made not only the Sous Chef’s job easier, but everyone else as well?

Sound familiar? I’m describing most business that have multiple parts trying to achieve the same thing. Imagine now, that data on that customer, delivered at the right time and place is the objective. If the marketing manager is preparing a campaign and someone else approaches from the woodwork stressing the importance of batch send to a select customers. Does this fit into the overall strategy of what you are ultimately trying to achieve as a business?


If you have governance over where that data lives, how it lives and how you use it you can streamline everything you do. For smaller businesses, this involves making it someones responsibility to review all current practises and address issues. For bigger business, having a team to review this information and develop documentation on how deploy campaigns under criteria will navigate the pitfalls of not having a strategy in place or whilst you develop one.

Let’s have a look at some quick wins:

  • If you have a lot of people coming out of the woodwork stressing their campaigns are important as well then streamline all of the communications you do throughout the year and share a company wide calendar (especially for those that aren’t aware what’s going on in marketing generally)
  • Find the most data passionate person in your organisation and have them organise a how-to submit process for campaigns for your business.
  • If you have a good acquisition process of data, make sure its examined thoroughly for important criteria like first name, last name, email address and even one of their preferences. A good form on your site can achieve this.
  • Create a flowchart of how data enters and exits your database. Document it and share until all the gaps are filled up by department heads or directly responsible individuals. You’ll discover more and more about your systems in the process and strengthen the responsibility to keep data clean and structured so time and money are not wasted in the future.

Start small, now on the reality of your database to live the dream of your single customer view in the future.

Until next time,