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Overcoming the 80/20 Rule – Finding More Time with Data Intelligence

by Rachel Haines       • June 22, 2020

The 80/20 rule is well known. It describes an unfortunate reality for many data stewards, who spend 80 percent of their time finding, cleaning and reorganizing huge amounts of data, and only 20 percent of their time on actual data analysis.

That’s a lot wasted of time.

Earlier this year, erwin released its 2020 State of Data Governance and Automation (DGA) report. About 70 percent of the DGA report respondents – a combination of roles from data architects to executive managers – say they spend an average of 10 or more hours per week on data-related activities.

COVID-19 has changed the way we work – essentially overnight – and may change how companies work moving forward. Companies like Twitter, Shopify and Box have announced that they are moving to a permanent work-from-home status as their new normal.

For much of our time as data stewards, collecting, revising and building consensus around our metadata has meant that we need to balance find time on multiple calendars against multiple competing priorities so that we can pull the appropriate data stakeholders into a room to discuss term definitions, the rules for measuring “clean” data, and identifying processes and applications that use the data.

Overcoming the 80/20 Rule - Analyzing Data

This style of data governance most often presents us with eight one-hour opportunities per day (40 one-hour opportunities per week) to meet.

As the 80/20 rule suggests, getting through hundreds, or perhaps thousands of individual business terms using this one-hour meeting model can take … a … long … time.

Now that pulling stakeholders into a room has been disrupted …  what if we could use this as 40 opportunities to update the metadata PER DAY?

What if we could buck the trend, and overcome the 80/20 rule?

Overcoming the 80/20 Rule with Micro Governance for Metadata

Micro governance is a strategy that leverages the native functionality around workflows.

erwin Data Intelligence (DI) offers Workflow Manager that creates a persistent, reusable role-based workflow such that edits to the metadata for any term can move from, for example, draft to under review to approved to published.

Using a defined workflow, it can eliminate the need for hour-long meetings with multiple stakeholders in a room. Now users can suggest edits, review changes, and approve changes on their own schedule! Using micro governance these steps should take less than 10 minutes per term:

  • Log on the DI Suite
  • Open your work queue to see items requiring your attention
  • Review and/or approve changes
  • Log out

That’s it!

And as a bonus, where stakeholders may need to discuss the edits to achieve consensus, the Collaboration Center within the Business Glossary Manager facilitates conversations between stakeholders that persistent and attached directly to the business term. No more searching through months of email conversations or forgetting to cc a key stakeholder.

Using the DI Suite Workflow Manager and the Collaboration Center, and assuming an 8-hour workday, we should each have 48 opportunities for 10 minutes of micro-governance stewardship each day.

A Culture of Micro Governance

In these days when we are all working at home, and face-to-face meetings are all but impossible, we should see this time as an opportunity to develop a culture of micro governance around our metadata.

This new way of thinking and acting will help us continuously improve our transparency and semantic understanding of our data while staying connected and collaborating with each other.

When we finally get back into the office, the micro governance ethos we’ve built while at home will help make our data governance programs more flexible, responsive and agile. And ultimately, we’ll take up less of our colleagues’ precious time.

Request a free demo of erwin DI.

Data Intelligence for Data Automation

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