Cut Through the Red Tape of Data Discovery with Collaborative Governance

Do you ever feel that something is thwarting your data discovery efforts? Or are you an IT manager who thinks that business users just don’t understand data governance? Whichever side you’re on, you’re not alone. Business users and IT managers in plenty of other organizations share those sentiments.

Like many companies, yours probably has a much greater volume and variety of data at its disposal than ever before. Your business users are eager to explore and analyze that data so they can generate new insights to help your company capitalize on opportunities and meet its business goals.

But something is standing in their way. As business users see it, that something is IT. Your IT department is tasked with data governance — making sure data is accurate, complete and secure. And unfortunately, data governance processes and policies impose restrictions that can hinder business users’ ability to freely explore data and get the answers they need when they need them.

Neglecting data governance is not an option. But if business users have trouble accessing or using data, your company could miss some vital opportunities. So, what’s the answer?

A new approach: Collaborative data governance

According to the Aberdeen Group, implementing a “collaborative data governance” approach can help eliminate the conflict between IT and business groups, and improve data discovery. Collaborative data governance opens a dialog between IT and business users. IT gains greater visibility into user needs, and business users learn the proper procedures for accessing data so they can work with IT to optimize their data discovery experience. The groups share the responsibility for governing data and finding new ways to maximize its value.

In its 2014 Business Analytics survey, Aberdeen found that organizations with collaborative data governance enjoy several important benefits:

  • Information, in time: In collaborative organizations, business users were able to get the info they needed within the necessary decision window about 75 percent of the time, compared with 63 percent at organizations without that collaborative approach.
  • Higher user satisfaction: Perhaps not surprisingly, business users were more satisfied with the timeliness of information delivery when there was a collaborative approach in place. The Aberdeen survey found that 55 percent of those business users were satisfied, compared with 30 percent of business users working in organizations without a collaborative approach.
  • Less red tape: The collaborative approach can also help boost support for data discovery and analytics initiatives among high-level decision makers. According to the Aberdeen survey, 71 percent of collaborative organizations have an executive-level champion for analytics; less than half of non-collaborative companies have similar support. Executive champions get new programs off the ground by cutting through red tape.

Creating a culture of collaboration between IT and business users can yield benefits that extend beyond specific data discovery requests. For example, as Aberdeen suggests, collaboration can help prevent data silos from forming and facilitate more enterprise-wide access to data, while ensuring data is accurate and secure.

Beyond encouraging collaboration, having the right BI tools is also essential. The Aberdeen survey showed that 72 percent of collaborative organizations use data management and data quality tools. Those tools help simplify data discovery while streamlining governance.


Whether you’re a frustrated IT administrator who’s tired of having to say “no” to new requests or a frustrated business user who’s tired of wading through bureaucracy to access data, it’s time to reach out to the other side. Working together, you can increase the value of data while maintaining the levels of governance your organization requires.

Your turn

Learn more about collaborative data governance and the advantages you can gain from this approach by reading the Aberdeen report, “Collaborative Data Governance: Peeling the Red Tape off Data Discovery.”

If you’re looking for more insight on how to bridge the divide between IT and business groups, read Peter Evans’s recent blog post, “Bringing Business and IT Together for Better Business Intelligence.