3 Reasons Even Well-Intentioned Data Governance Strategies Fail

Mar 20, 2019 | Security and Confidentiality, Tips and Best Practices

Maybe you’ve been in this situation. You set out to create a new data governance initiative at your place of work. You do your research, notify all the necessary teams, set up a timeline and budget that are water-tight, hold meeting after meeting to plan, but somewhere between ideation and execution, your project just… fizzles.

Amid the rubble of your best-laid plans, you’re left wondering what happened and why your project didn’t get off the ground? While there’s not one answer to why new data governance strategies don’t pan out, there are a few common pitfalls. Whether you’re trying to bounce back after a failure or trying to make sure your upcoming project goes smoothly, these common issues are worth understanding.

Not Understanding What Data Governance Is

There is no shortage of data governance blogs, whitepapers, podcasts, fact sheets and more on the internet. Still, there remains some variation and confusion over what data governance actually is. Before trying to implement it, research and understand what data governance is and how it differs from data management. According to a SAS whitepaper this is a common issue, and they define data governance as a holistic, business development-driven project to create procedures and policies around data, while data management is an IT-run function that covers putting those corporate defined procedures into practice.

The same whitepaper offers a clear and concise definition for data governance that may help you in crafting your data governance strategies:

“the organizing framework for aligning strategy, defining objectives and establishing policies for enterprise information.”

Thinking that Data Governance Strategies Are a One-Time Effort

Another pitfall, similar to the way that some companies approached GDPR compliance, is assuming that data governance is a one-and-done kind of project with a start and end date. On the contrary, data governance is an ongoing practice. As you collect more data or different types of data, or as the needs of your organization change, your documented processes may need to adapt as well.

Inhibited Departmental Information-Sharing

Just because you had meeting after meeting about all aspects of your data governance strategies doesn’t mean your team-wide communication is in a great place. A huge deterrent to a successful data governance program is a lack of transparency with data, aka data silos. When the data stewards involved in your data governance program don’t have access to the information they need, the success of your program suffers.


As part of your plan for failure-proofing your data governance strategies, explore the benefits of a Salesforce-connected web form solution that can help you gather quality data and connect it to a centralized CRM for team-wide collaboration.

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