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A recap of the 2019 Collibra Data Citizen Conference

The 2019 Collibra Data Citizen event was pulsing with excitement. It exceeded over 600 attendees and even required an extra day to fit in all the topics that the Collibra community wanted to address. The location was the gorgeous Conrad hotel in New York City and the mood was one that matched the energy of the Manhattan location.

It’s an exciting and relevant time to discuss the function of data governance and how its roll out touches every part of an organization. Data Governance needs to be a part of the conversation throughout an organization−not as a single function of one department, but as a truly committed and unified effort of an organization. This methodology promotes using data as a true corporate asset and shifts the mindset from one corporate group’s burden to the success of the whole organization based on better decisioning.

Since experts consider Collibra an industry leader, the event’s corporate representatives and speakers represented a diverse group of industry players. Unsurprisingly, the event had a financial services focus; however, the audience’s interests expanded beyond financial services, with an overall understanding that data governance is something for all organizations to tackle. One theme that resonated in various talks, panels, and question-and-answer sessions was a focus on strategic goals versus being reactive.

Various speeches labeled the strategy-focused conversations as “offense verse defense planning.” Naturally, there are necessary ‘evils’ or defense items around governance that will always need to be addressed. The most commonly discussed “defense” topics were regulatory concerns involving GDPR and CCPA. However, to have a truly dynamic and relevant data governance board within an organization, organizations need to focus consistently on “offense” items also. Examples of offensive initiatives were operational efficiency, data lake management, and BI & Analytics. This secondary group truly defines the data as an asset to an organization.

The message of the event was clear: governance has a long-term future within organizations. To be truly data-driven, governance that includes the right people, processes, and tools is the only way to move forward in the industry. The role of governance must be prioritized from the highest level of the organization to all users and doers of data. Data is now a mantle of success that everyone in the organization is responsible for.