Many people have the perception that data governance is all about policies and mandates, committees and paperwork, without any real "rubber on the road" impact.
I want to dispel this viewpoint by sharing a simple example of how one company implemented data governance to enforce something practical that delivered long-term benefits for customers, stakeholders and users. The form of governance in question relates to implementing better standards and approaches toward data migration projects.
Data migrations are notoriously tricky projects to pull off successfully because they're not something companies perform on a regular basis. They're also a project that has traditionally been devalued as a tech-centric endeavour and therefore outsourced or given minimal oversight. But the reality is that a poorly executed data migration can cause the transformation efforts of your business to grind to a halt (or at least a lumbering, sloth-like pace).
I won't turn this into a how do you do data migration post because there is a stack of posts about data migration on the Roundtable and also on my Data Migration Pro site. What I will say is that most data migration projects fail because of very simple mistakes that are easily avoided.
A good example was the car manufacturer that refused to appoint a data migration expert to help define its strategy because the company just "wanted to go with ETL instead." Another example was the telco that wanted to do its business analysis using analysts 10,000 miles away "to cut costs and delivery lead times." Another example was a utility that "didn't want to get bogged down with data quality," so the company elected to try to fix all the defects in its target system.
You see what I mean? Simple mistakes. Easily avoided.