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10 Highlights from Collibra Data Citizens


A few weeks ago, I joined 500 data citizens for Collibra’s annual conference in Jersey City, which First San Francisco Partners has been proud to sponsor for three consecutive years. It was an informative, fun and action-packed two days — and it was great to connect with some of our clients, prospects, partners and fellow data governance enthusiasts.

And speaking of connecting, shout out to Collibra for making networking so easy with our poken devices, which made exchanging contact info more fun and efficient with “virtual” handshakes and high fives!

We loved talking all things Collibra, data governance and metadata with everyone who stopped by our booth and learning about all the practical and innovative ways organizations of varying sizes and industries were implementing Collibra to scale the value of data. The conference sessions were also enlightening with best practices, case studies and pragmatic approaches focused on helping data citizens to emerge brighter (in the new dawn of data), in light of the conference’s main theme.

Gregg Loos, Malcolm Chisholm and Czarina Carden from FSFP

My FSFP colleagues Gregg Loos and Malcolm Chisholm joined me at Data Citizens ’18.

In honor of Collibra’s upcoming tenth birthday milestone, here are 10 takeaways (in no particular order) from the conference. Be sure to also check out #datacitizens18 on Twitter for additional insights.

  1. According to MIT Sloan Management Review, the gap between data access and use has doubled in the last five years. There is a big opportunity to bridge the data engagement gap by moving to a consumption-based focus by leveraging champions while enabling new users to become data citizens. On a parallel note from my recent Gartner Summit recap, data literacy was also a key theme as both an obstacle and opportunity for scaling the value of data.
  2. For effective data governance that scales and to reach the “data engagement sweet spot,” balance defensive (e.g., legal and compliance-related) and offensive (e.g., AI and analytics) strategies.
  3. Recognize, re-examine and prepare to redefine the critical role and expectations of the Data Steward. In the shift from defense to offense, the Data Steward will evolve from Enforcer/Controller to Enabler.
  4. The combination of metadata management and a data catalog is the foundation of success for the data citizen — linking data producers, consumers and enablers alike by ensuring data is fully accurate, trusted, accessible and understood.
  5. A data catalog needs to be more than just a repository for metadata. It should also be “smart, extendible, flexible and crowd-focused.”
  6. To become data-driven, be aware of your biases and be open to embracing change. As Paul DePodesta, the subject of Moneyball, pointed out in his keynote, sometimes it pays to ask the naïve question: If we weren’t already doing it this way, is this the way we would have started?
  7. In order to master data to transform the organization, you need to govern the data that matters and articulate and define data’s value to your business. To measure progress and impact, implement agreed upon measures of data value and think outside the cost-avoidance box.
  8. Coming up on the Collibra platform’s roadmap for redefining the data governance category and establishing a data system of engagement: increased browser speed, ratings and reviews, catalog landing page, reports landing page, repository replication and more.
  9. Long live data governance! While artificial intelligence and augmented analytics is the future, Collibra’s CEO and CTO both stressed the criticality of governance and good data: “AI without governance is unethical.” “AI is just a decision-making tool like BI. It’s shooting yourself in the foot with a machine gun versus a hand gun.”
  10. Data governance is vital, but continued success and sustainability depends on data citizens championing it. Be prepared to market your data governance project as if it was a product to sell to sales and marketing. Communicate early and often about data wins and its business impact to raise awareness and invigorate momentum.

Thanks to Collibra for a great event. If you attended Data Citizens ’18, we’d love to hear your takeaways.

You can catch us on the road again in San Diego at the Data Governance and Information Quality Conference in June. Hope to see you at DGIQ!

Article contributed by Czarina Carden. She more than 15 years of marketing experience includes working with start-up to midsize, B2B and B2C companies, as well as currently running a small marketing firm. Czarina focus on leveraging customer-first marketing strategies and messaging to create trust, emotional connections and value-add conversations between organizations and their customers.

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