Data Governance Successes and Challenges: Spotlight on mHealth Fairview Health System02/08/2019
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Designing a data governance program can be daunting. Don’t become bogged down by the potential challenges; be inspired by the potential opportunities that await you when you begin aligning everyone’s efforts through data-driven communication. Embrace the hard work and learning curve of bringing your staff together toward a common goal.

In this blog series, you will hear from four data governance leaders across the nation including:

Our first interview is with Ann Warner, the Data Governance Program Director at mHealth Fairview Health System in Minneapolis, MN.

What successes did you have in 2018?

The biggest success this year is starting the Stewardship Council and receiving sign off on the charter.  As a series of larger mergers and realignment, meetings were paused while positions and roles changed. In 2018, the Stewardship Council saw a groundswell of education and onboarding so that now everyone is starting to understand data governance and what it means.  Executive leadership is fully aware of data governance’s importance and is monitoring its success through how many enterprise-governed definitions have been created and approved.

What is the cost of not doing DG for your organization?

As the organization is moving to a new service line structure, we have realized the importance of standard definitions because can’t have various definitions or variations being reported externally.  There is an intrinsic cost to reinventing the wheel in terms of resource time, but also there is a more significant cost and risk of reporting different data externally.

What do you see as the biggest challenge you need to tackle in 2019?

Our biggest challenge is the development and adoption of an organization-wide business glossary. We are aligned around the goal of governing definitions and data throughout the organization, but we are lacking the right technology and workflow to make it possible. We are currently using IBM Infosphere and have tried to mitigate issues with Excel and SharePoint.

Any words of advice for others on their data governance journey?

To be successful with data governance, you need an owner that is dedicated to educating and championing data governance. Data governance needs to be part of people’s HR job role description and they need to be measured on it in order to produce the change necessary to standardize and share terminology.

Thank you for your time Ann! Stay tuned for the next interview with Allison Lutz, Director, Business Intelligence at Excela Health System in Greensburg, PA.

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