"Big Data Governance" vs "Little Data Governance"

william burkett

"Big Data Governance" vs "Little Data Governance"
I like the definition of Data Governance as "The exercise of authority, control and shared decision making (planning, monitoring and enforcement) over the management of data assets." However, in recent conversations and presentations on data governance, I find two camps of understanding. The first camp, which I call "Big Data Governance" is the full, broad definition that entails control and oversight of all enterprise data management functions. The reason Data Governance is in the middle of the DAMA Wheel is because that function governs all functions. The second camp, which I call "Little Data Governance", could more accurately be called "critical data element management". This view of data governance focuses on managing the life cycle of data elements. Interestingly, I see that both interpretations of Data Governance can reasonably fall within the definition I provided at the start of this message. Which has me wondering: what do YOU think "data governance" means from a practical day-to-day operational perspective? Camp 1 or Camp 2 or another camp altogether?

Robert S Seiner

RE: "Big Data Governance" vs "Little Data Governance"
(in response to william burkett)

Interesting post William. I think that, rather than seeing it as Big vs Little data governance, organizations are focusing on "right-sizing" their initiatives. Right sizing might mean to start small, with a limited Critical Data Element (CDE) focus, and then expand the "amount of governance" into other areas (ex. more CDE, documentation, protection, quality and such). Organizations should consider starting by defining some of the basics (roles, process, communications) and then validate and assess how well these thing work via a pilot or two (or five) … and learn, adjust and grow from there. I find it effective to grow from Little Data Governance (the way you defined it) to Big (or Bigger) Data Governance over time and lessons learned. Hey everybody … Please feel free to share how you'd grow.

Robert S. Seiner
KIK Consulting & Educational Services (KIKconsulting.com)
The Data Administration Newsletter (TDAN.com) 

william burkett

RE: "Big Data Governance" vs "Little Data Governance"
(in response to Robert S Seiner)

Thanks for the response, Bob.  While I certainly see the need for controlled evolutionary growth along the lines that you describe, I think "little data governance" and "big data governance" are fundamentally different functions.  I see the evolutionary path of "little data governance" as maturing into Data Architecture management, not "big data governance.".

And I'm going to complicate matters because as I'm thinking about "big data governance", another ambiguity is coming up - but I'll save that for another thread.

Bill

Christiana Klingenberg

RE: "Big Data Governance" vs "Little Data Governance"
(in response to william burkett)

I like the idea on „Big Data Governance“ and „Little Data Governance“. It seems to me that „Little Data Governance“ covers more the bottom-up approach because the addressed topics are more tangible. In addition the delivery of some quick wins is easier with „Little Data Governance“. Once „Little Data Governance“ is established and the quick wins show the added value to the company, it might be much easier to get management support and resources for big data governance activities.

william burkett

RE: "Big Data Governance" vs "Little Data Governance"
(in response to Christiana Klingenberg)

thanks, Christina - I agree