Again, it should be the Business that decides which data domains are most critical to their commercial success and business interests.
But whatever you do, involve Finance. You can’t do Information Governance (IG) without Finance. Their interest goes far beyond Financial data. This is often overlooked and misunderstood.
Because Finance bears ultimate responsibility for the accuracy of the accounts and external financial reporting, Finance staff often have a higher level of awareness for the importance of good data quality. Financial data therefore is often in relatively good shape. As a consequence, the rest of the Business doesn’t consider Financial data as being in particular need of IG.
But the Finance department’s interest in data reaches far beyond Financial data. They are typically eager to see higher levels of standardisation of Customer, Supplier, Product etc. data across all business units, if only because it means that their monthly, quarterly and annual accounting and reporting processes will function more automatically and with less manual intervention, delays and room for errors (see diagram “Inter-related primary and secondary data domains”).
Divisional Finance Directors at a large UK business services company were painfully aware of the need to improve the quality of their information assets. They knew it wasn’t the Financial data, but rather the underlying Customer and Product data causing the reporting and consistency issues. In the end, no executive sponsorship of this IG program proved more valuable than those of the Finance Directors.
[this is part 9 in a 14-part blog on Capgemini’s “QuickStart Information Governance” framework]
For more information on QuickStart Information Governance, please contact Ralf Teschner.