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10 Learnings from DGIQ


Last week I attended Data Governance and Information Quality (DGIQ), a conference hosted by DATAVERSITY. DGIQ is the world’s most comprehensive event dedicated entirely to data governance and related topics.

This year, the event took place in San Diego. For many attendees (myself included), it was our first conference back in-person. It was great to be able to meet other industry professionals and learn more about new tools. I learned a lot from the speakers at the event, and I’d love to share some of these insights with you.

Here are 10 insights from DGIQ, in no particular order:

1. Accurate business reporting and data analytics can only be achieved using high-quality data.

In “A Roadmap for Building a Successful Data Quality Program: How to Get Started, and How to Assess and Improve What You Have,” John Talburt described the keys to successful data quality. These included engaging business and practicing demand-side data quality. With the workbook activities included in this session, getting started with implementing a data quality program is broken up into manageable pieces.

2. Linking progress metrics with impact metrics is necessary to ensure alignment, relevance and value of your data governance initiative.

FSFP’s Becky Lyons spoke at the conference in “Data Governance Metrics: Translating Data Value into Business Value.” She walked the audience through exercises to identify potential impact and progress metrics for their organization and how to relate these metrics to business value.

3. Data governance can be a differentiator in the business world by providing quality insights to make better business decisions.

In “Data Governance: The Engine That Drives the Data Office,” Scott Peachey outlined his organization’s vision for an Enterprise Data Office by outlining missions, guiding principles, risk reduction, future vision and more. His description of what data governance is versus what it is not was very insightful.

4. Speaking with a common vocabulary when it comes to terms like privacy, data protection and information security can help your organization’s data maturity.

In this session, “The Princess Bride Effect in Privacy, Data Protection and Information Security,” Katherine O’Keefe related the popular Princess Bride movie quote — “You keep using that word … I do not think it means what you think it means” — to relate to a common data privacy vocabulary. In this talk, Katherine explained the difference between data privacy, data protection and information security and how they overlap and complement each other. She also addressed the global jurisdictional difference when it comes to data privacy laws.

5. Now more than ever, companies need a data program that will apply structure to how data is governed, consumed and managed.

The team at Realogy spoke about “Roasting Chickens, Hugging Pigs: Real Stories from the Trenches of Deploying a Data Program at Scale in the Largest Real Estate Company in the Country” and their opportunity to create and deploy an enterprise data program. An important insight included identifying levels of commitment among those in the company and giving them responsibility equivalent to their level of commitment.

6. Small successes toward data governance are great, but must eventually have some central awareness and move toward an enterprise role.

In “Big G Little g,” John Ladley explained how many organizations start small and pave the way to larger successes While it can be easy to get stuck on the smaller stage, each organization’s approach needs to be tailored to the company and its behaviors.

7. Bad or hidden data can sink your entire organization.

“What Can Horror Movies Teach Us About Data Governance and Risk Management?” According to Xin Lu, the data lurking below the surface causes a real threat, just like the monsters in horror movies. And that’s not the only dangerous aspect of risky data. This presentation included roles in managing data and seven lessons learned when transforming data governance.

8. Data quality and data governance is a journey to control your data.

In “Take Control of Your Customer Data in 90 Days,” Anuj Jain described a data quality and governance journey and where an organization might fit. Some of the lessons learned include starting small, showing wins and getting support from leadership.

9. Data catalogs provide an innovative solution for powering data intelligence and metadata management.

Governance was at the core of this two-day seminar by FSFP’s Becky Lyons and Gretchen Burnham entitled “How to Implement and Govern an Enterprise Data Catalog and Business Glossary.” Their message: Metadata is foundational to all data work and should be a top priority of a data governance program. Without an understanding of what data means, where it comes from or how it’s classified, it’s virtually impossible to extract data’s full value.

10. Optimized value can only be fulfilled when a data catalog is embedded into “business as usual” processes of how users work on a daily basis.

Continuing the learnings from Becky and Gretchen’s seminar, investing in a catalog tool is only a first step. An organization must create a sustainable need and trust in the catalog as opposed to just knowing it is one of many tools available. This can be done by aligning adoption with change management strategies to manage resistance and deliver continuous business value.

These are just 10 of the dozens of learnings from the conference. My only regret is I couldn’t attend more sessions! For more information, visit the DGIQ website. DGIQ 2022 will be here before we know it, and I can’t wait.


Article contributed by Callie Kinnan

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