2022 State of Data Governance
Speaker 1: This is Catalog& Cocktails.
Speaker 2: Presented by data. world.
Tim Gasper: All right.
Juan Sequeda: Let's go do this
Tim Gasper: All right. Hey everyone. Welcome. Welcome. So hello, welcome to Catalog& Cocktails. It's an honest no BS non- salesy conversation about enterprise data management with tasty beverages in hand. So, hopefully you got your honest no BS old fashioned or your other beverage of choice. We are coming to you live from DGIQ in Washington, D. C. For those that don't know Catalog& Cocktails as a live show and podcast where we get together with awesome guests and we talk about data. I'm Tim Gasper, longtime data nerd and product guy at data. world, joined by cohost Juan Sequeda.
Juan Sequeda: Hey everybody. My name is Juan Sequeda, I'm the principal scientist at data. world. And as always, we do this podcast live every Wednesday at 4: 00 PM Central and it is 4:00 PM Central. 5: 00 PM we're doing it live. We're here live with everybody and it's Wednesday, middle of the week, end of the day. And we're here to go chat about data and we have fantastic, fantastic guests today. We have Shannon Moore, who is a principal consultant at Daugherty Business Solutions because Daugherty rhymes with party. And Anthony Algmin, who's the convergence platform lead at AbbVie and author of the Data Leadership book. How are you guys doing?
Anthony Algmin: Great. Thanks for having us
Juan Sequeda: All right.
Shannon Moore: Fantastic. Thanks for having us.
Tim Gasper: You might have to flip it.
Juan Sequeda: All right. So, as we always, we kick it off. So, tell and toast. What are we drinking and what are we toasting for today? Shannon, kick us off.
Shannon Moore: I am drinking for the first time an IZZE sparkling mango and I am toasting two things. So one, I'm toasting DATAVERSITY for hosting this fantastic conference. And the second thing, since we're in Washington D. C. I am toasting the Smithsonian Institution for their amazing museums.
Juan Sequeda: How about you Anthony?
Anthony Algmin: So, I am drinking Heineken: Zero when you want to keep your edge and have something that reminds you of beer. And I am toasting to being among friends here in Washington D. C. It is been far too long since we've been able to get together regularly and I'm just happy to be among all of you today.
Tim Gasper: Well, excited to have you here.
Juan Sequeda: How about you, Tim?
Tim Gasper: You know what? I am toasting to the amazing speakers that we had. I thought this was an amazing conference. We had great speakers on all topics, on offensive governance, on defense, on people, on empathy. I thought that was an amazing talk and really cheers to that.
Juan Sequeda: And then I want to cheer to all the data governance professionals here today. We have been here working a lot and we're coming here to go really celebrate and we want to really celebrate also the folks who are listeners to our podcast. I have to say, I think this is like our 110th episode that we've done for over two and a half years. We reach over 1, 000 listeners every week. We're in the top 2. 5 global rank podcast globally. And per Spotify, we're getting the raps. We are listed in 56 countries. We're in the top 5% most shared and most followed podcast in all of Spotify. And we're the top 10 podcast for 606 fans. We're in the top five podcast for 394. And we're the number one podcast for 120. If you're out there, you're one of these people. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. So, toasting for all of you. Cheers, everybody.
Tim Gasper: Cheers.
Anthony Algmin: Yeah. Cheers.
Juan Sequeda: Cheers. So, we always have our funny warmup question, and today the question is Die Hard a Christmas movie or not?
Tim Gasper: Shannon, what do you think?
Shannon Moore: Okay. My answer, this is a tough question, but my answer would be Christmas is about family. It's about togetherness, it's about building great memories and love. So, I would say if it brings your family together, I would say yes it is.
Anthony Algmin: And in some families, it's about arguments and action and violence. So yeah, why not? Well, it can be a Christmas movie too.
Juan Sequeda: And it happens on December 24th. So, yes. It is. It is a tradition we have in my family. We always watch to Die Hard. All right. I guess we're in agreement on this. All right. Let's kick it off. Honest, no BS. So, 2022s coming to an end. We have spent the last couple of days together here at a Data Governance Conference. So, honest no BS. What is the state of data governance as of December 2022?
Anthony Algmin: So what I'm seeing in data governance is we're not at a fundamentally different place than we've been for years. I think organizations have made some progress. I think organizations are still trying to figure it out. I think we have more data to govern, but I also think that we are still trying to get the uptake in our organizations around data governance that we've been trying to get for a long time. And I don't know that we're being any more successful yet than we ever have been.
Shannon Moore: It was interesting. I was having a conversation at lunch with Steve McLaughlin who did the session on gamifying data governance. And in that said, when I had lunch with him, he made the comment which resonated with me, which was seems a lot of the sessions I'm going to today are really about how do we make people care, whether it's metrics, whether it's targeting to the business value, whether building better stewardship teams. It's about how do we make people care? And I think that, or how we speak to people about data governance. So that's what I see where for me at least this conference has been focused beyond just the technical piece of our jobs to more the audience and the communicating around data.
Juan Sequeda: So, one of the things that I've been seeing in the last year, and it actually is converging here too, are two main topics. One is show me the money. Follow the money. We do the defensive offensive conversations, but they were being tied to money. I was at the talk by there from data quality and I loved how we were showing literally money signs on things that was... so that was an example, I'm hearing this, this is a trend, we're not doing much of it yet, but we're having those conversations. So that's one. And second, we are having genuine conversations now about people. We usually talk same people, but we end up always about tech. But here we're really talking more about people. There's a lot of conversations. There is this, the panel about empathy. Accardi from am Amex talked about the people side there is the keynote about deification. We're starting to get really essentials into the people side. And I think that is where we're heading. I don't know that those are the trends that I'm seeing. Does this resonate with you? Or...
Anthony Algmin: I think you bring up a good point and I do feel that we have a tendency to focus too much on the function of data governance of the work that we're trying to do and not enough on that total value proposition to the business. But to your point one, I think we are seeing more evidence that that message is starting to resonate. Within our community where people are talking more and more about actual value to our organizations and tracking that and measuring that more and more. And I think we're starting to make those inroads in our community and that will lead eventually hopefully to more success with data governance when we take these ideas back home to our organizations.
Shannon Moore: Yeah. I agree. I mean, there were two... I did a presentation on organizational change management, but there was at least one other one, maybe a... and then other people have referenced that which is really about organizations don't change the people in them do. And at the closing session we just had, they talked about one of the people on the panel talked about ask what do they care about? How does that person measure success? So, if we look at data governance from the lens of what do you need? What do you care about? How can I extrapolate from that? How data governance can help you as opposed to you help me because I have this data governance stuff that I need you to be doing.
Tim Gasper: Right now. I think this statement that you just made that organizations don't change people and them do is a very interesting one. And then I also think about this fact that we're having trouble really getting people to care, right? So, I connect the two dots together with that and how do we get people to care more? And how much of it is the people? Are we empowering them? Are we asking them to do the right things? Do we have the right people? Right? Versus what can we just do campaigns around? Is there more internal marketing that we need to do? Is there more internal selling that we need to do? Where do you feel like the biggest opportunities are as you think about how we get people to care more?
Shannon Moore: I think there's two pieces to that. One, is just the communication piece there is... so Warren Buffet did a preface to the SEC Clear Plain Language guidelines, and it was about how to write good SEC disclosure docs. And at the end of that he says, " When I write a letter to my shareholders, I think about my two sisters. They're smart. They're intelligent. They don't know anything about finance. They don't know anything about accounting. What would they want to know? What would I want to know if I were in their shoes?" And so, I think communicating to people in a way that resonates with them is important. Then I think the second piece of it is also, I lost my train of thought, but it was really profound. I turn it to you, Anthony.
Anthony Algmin: Yeah. Part of me says, there's limited amounts of things people can care about in organizations. I don't need them to care about data governance as much as I need them to care about improving the business with data. It's a nuance difference, but it is a difference. And so, I don't want to sell at people the wrong thing. I want to hear where are our challenges in being a successful business and then be able to understand how do I connect data to those challenges and then how do I improve that? Because if we can make those connections here, the real problems, then we'll be able to implement data governance. Whether they understand or care about that is less relevant than can we make the impact from changing things or improving things or giving them those tools that they need to leverage data to make the business better.
Juan Sequeda: All right. Let's be honest, data governance and all of the data management, it's a means to an end, right? We're corporations, we're living in a capitalist world. World here is to maximize shareholder value, make money, save money. That one needs to be our end. And I think we get so obsessed sometimes on the technical details. I was having this conversation about yes. We should go have... I strive to have high quality data and all these things. Yeah, that's what we should go do. That's obvious... the hotel does not advertise come to our hotel because we have clean sheets and clean towels like, "No. It's a given." Right? So, I think we've changed, we've got to understand where that bar is and these things are a means to win in. Having clean towels or that's of course that's something has happened, right?
Shannon Moore: I hope so. I hope so.
Juan Sequeda: So, I think that... exactly. I hope so. You go off and you tell your executives that, " Hey, we've been focusing on having higher quality data." They're like, " You better freaking be doing that." That's the least you could do. And I think these are the mindset that we have to change that we get so obsessed on these technical details, we got to zoom out and how do I know that that is actually make providing shareholder value?
Anthony Algmin: Well, I want to build on your hotel analogy for a moment because we're here at a hotel this week and I'm sure most of us have been to a hotel at some point or encountered someone working at a hotel that made you feel like they couldn't have cared less if you were there at all. Right? And I feel like a lot of the time with data governance, we approach it about what we need from other people. We're trying to do these important things. You better help us. We need your help. Do these things. Work on this stuff. But in reality, what we should be doing is thinking the hotel, your analogy and saying, " How can I serve you? How can I appreciate what you are doing and help you do the things that you already know are important in executing things for the business." And that's... if we can make that connection and shift our focus to how do we serve, I think we'll get more results from these data governance efforts that we spend so much time thinking about.
Shannon Moore: I thought of my second thing. Can I say my second thing that I lost? My second thing was I think we need to think more like a marketer. You think about... well it was in the keynote from Tuesday where Donna Burbank talked about just do it. If you asked a data just do it. Do what? That doesn't explain to me what they want, right? And I think the marketing mindset would be really helpful in terms of building buy-in and the desire to participate more if it was a little more engaging, a little more fun, a little more user friendly, that sort of thing.
Tim Gasper: Yeah. I like the analogy around the marketing mindset. I think that even ties to the hotel analogy a little bit too. Because the hotel needs to do a good job of saying, " Hey, here we care about providing you an exceptional experience and that's why we leave little chocolates on your bed." And things like that, right? And I think that same thing can apply to the world of governance because one approach to governance is much more like, well let's make sure there's the clean sheet. So there's the high quality data. The things that we must do, but in and of themselves maybe are the table stakes, right? How do we actually go and become an enabler within the broader organization and maybe around this marketing mindset. I know something that's becoming very popular these days is the idea of treating your data like a product, right? Because what do products have? They have a life cycle. They have a user experience. You can have a great product, but if you don't market it, nobody might buy it. Nobody might use it. Do governance people have a role as data marketers or data product managers in some respect?
Shannon Moore: I think 100%. I think 100% yes. If you want your data governance program to succeed, you have to, it's that empathy with your audience. It's an understanding of whoever your audience is, whether that audience is a business vertical, whether your audience is even a stewardship, whatever. Whoever your audience is, you've got to think about how do I persuade them to want to be a part of this?
Tim Gasper: Right?
Anthony Algmin: Well, and I would say in data governance or data platforms or products or what have you, one important thing to remember is that nobody owes you anything. Nobody is sitting there saying, " Oh, I've got to do this because governance told me I needed to." And you're so consumed with so many things in your day that you're told you need to do or things that you have to attention that you have to place on things. We need to recognize that we are trying to sell a product. We are trying to convince, " Hey, this may be something of value to you if you spend some time." Oftentimes it's not money that we're asking them to spend, sometimes it is, but we want their attention. We want to be able to get their time and energy. And if we recognize that we have to provide a value proposition to earn that, then it changes the way we focus on these data governance functions as well.
Shannon Moore: And I have an example of how we've seen that happen at a client that we've been working at recently. As we started to build up their data governance practice, we focused on what was a key strategic initiative from the C- suite that the digital and loyalty marketing team was working on. And that was the proof of concept that they took on. We were going to get you the information you need so that you in turn can be successful in this big digital marketing campaign you're working on. And by doing that, they were super invested, they were super engaged, they wanted to learn about the catalog, they wanted to participate in it. It wasn't a huge shift, it didn't require some major difference in approach, but it was really helpful.
Tim Gasper: Well, that maybe is an extension to this analogy here because if we want to sell the product and we want to make sure that we're doing a good job of really pushing enablement around the data in the organization, at the same time you also want to find a good market. And that good market is one where the C- suite or whatever that the leaders in the organization, they've said, " Hey, this is our big initiative. It's around marketing. It's around this, whatever. It is in the organization. Okay. Cool. This is my TAM and I'm going to put my product market, my product offerings into this TAM and into this addressable market."
Juan Sequeda: We've been having these conversations and actually we were having this conversation and sitting next to us where folks from our marketing team and they're like, " But Juan, Tim, that's Marketing 101. You're talking about communicate. You create a communication plan, these are obvious." So, it does hit us. It's like, " Wait, first of all, we need to start talking to the marketing people to go learn from them, learn from their approaches." And also have a marketing mindset when it comes to data. Because if I to think about governance from a very protective point of view, if I protect it and nobody uses it, well yeah, 100% you accomplish your tax. Nothing is being used, nothing's happening to the data, but you're not making any use of it, right? You're not marketing anything. So it's like I have this amazing product but nobody's buying it. But it's still amazing for what you're not making any money about itself. So you need to go find that balance. And I think what we really need to go do is have this mindset of I'm going to just go promote, but promoting the data also understand just who am I going to promote it to? What do I want? What does success look for that? And that's what you go do when you do marketing. You try to understand your consumers, you try to go understand what the size of that is it worth it or not? Or this other side and how I'm going to communicate that. Who's going to go care and stuff. I think we need to bring in that mindset too. So, my suggestion is we need to go talk to our marketing friends.
Anthony Algmin: Well, I think there's another piece to this as well beyond marketing and what I do in my business and where I'm working, we focus on adoption and that adoption is a two- way street. We need to be able to promote and market what we are doing, but we also need to gauge and understand the response to that and understand, okay, maybe there's ways we need to pivot and adapt our offering so that it's more relevant to the business. And that bidirectional flow isn't something like in any large product organization, you're going to have that. And that's probably going to exist in separate areas in our little merry data governance groups. We are not going to have separate resources for that. So, we better make sure we can do both directions and coordinate those efforts appropriately.
Juan Sequeda: I'm really excited about this idea of thinking about marketing because it's a combination of, or it's how empowering again, the people side and I think we need more of these things. But I want to shift the conversation a little bit towards the money. This was a lot of conversations we had today and conversations I've had and this year. What are the techniques, the methodologies, the approaches that you're doing to actually not just sell data governance but actually providing more of the value directly within governance... the ROI. Let's talk about the ROI then.
Shannon Moore: I think besides tying your data governance efforts directly to the strategic business initiatives that the company has, that's one because then you're helping... if you help that succeed, you're contributing to the ROI. But I think the second piece of it also is thinking a little bit more about the value to the organization more broadly. One of the catch phrases that I use when I talk about data governance is it should be an ongoing enabling business function. Just like HR, just like it. We don't say, well, " Hey HR, I'm not going to interview anybody for jobs in my department. That's your job. Hey HR, I'm not doing any performance reviews. That's your job." It's just assumed that we will contribute to HR, and no one says HR prove that you have value. Prove that you value HR department. It's a given just, well, yeah, of course we need HR, right? I would love if we got to that point in data governance because data, every single function in the whole organization uses data.
Tim Gasper: Are we not there today?
Shannon Moore: I don't think we are.
Tim Gasper: There's not too much. Governance is like, " Oh, well we got to make sure we address our GDPR compliance. Well, that's going to take two years and this amount of money and then we're done." That's something like that.
Shannon Moore: Yeah. I think it feels still at least from where I sit and what I see IT project D still.
Anthony Algmin: In my organization, we have at a variety of levels, unmet needs in where they want to be able to use data and can't very well today. And so, a lot of the time when it comes to data governance, I'm doing data governance in secret underneath the covers because I don't need to go and say, " Hey, we're doing data governance." I need to say, " Hey, we've implemented some things that help you use your data faster, better, more confidently." And when you can do that, you'll be on board with those things that made that possible. That's data governance. I don't need to sell the concept of data governance. I need to make data governance real. And it's a little bit of a nuanced view, but I'm fortunate that I'm not trying to drum up, " Hey, do more with data." They're like, we got you, we're doing more, but we just run into walls with the data we're trying to use. So now we can help them bridge that.
Juan Sequeda: Do you think that we're trying to be sometimes too ambitious? Meaning that we want to go, we're going to deliver value after X amount of time, but we should be having more short quick wins. Or you...
Anthony Algmin: I would agree. I mean, I think a lot of times we see the big picture and we have these very ambitious missions. We have this kind of pie in the sky dreams of a perfect data world eventually. And that's not necessarily accurate when it's like if, go back to the hotel example, you may get the chocolate on the pillow as that nice treat, but they forgot to take the towels out of the bathroom, or the floors were dirty. So, if you do the attractive nice thing where you're like, that's a nice touch, but you miss those basic things, it doesn't land as well as if you execute the fundamentals well and then go above and beyond. And so, I think we need to just get back to basics in some ways and say how can we amplify the things that are most important, speed to use, if nothing else, solve for speed to use because any delay delays everything that goes downstream. So, start there and say, " Okay. While we're doing that, let's improve some quality and let's track in and make some master data improvements where we can start to reuse things more effectively down the road." But if we can start measuring, how do we impact their speed and ability to start creating outputs, now we can start to... I mean, I heard a disturbing stand, I don't remember what it was, but very few... I think Malcolm, Malcolm Hawkin or his session earlier today said he had talked to something like 1,400 or 1, 500 organizations about data governance and he could count on one hand the number that had quantified to the dollar or to a dollar amount even estimate what the value of their data governance program was. To me, that's terrifying. We have to do a much better job of measuring and estimating the value if we want the executives, we're trying to pitch to understand our value proposition at all.
Juan Sequeda: So, if that's the case, if you're telling me really that 1400 organizations and only five, whatever, but it's still... I mean, we're still going on so we're incentivizing the wrong thing. How this needs to change. I mean, how do we make this change? What are the incentives that need to make this change?
Anthony Algmin: Well, I think the incentive is that we get to continue to exist because if we can't actually create a value proposition that resonates with the business, how in the world are we actually going to deliver on that promise? And that's where we have to continue. And we're seeing signs of this, we talked about earlier, we're seeing signs of reorienting towards true business value. And when we do that, we're going to be much closer to hitting our promises than if we just say, " Let's go define some metadata and go down that path without any real clear value that comes from network."
Shannon Moore: Well, and I think the truth of the matter is, right? I don't work in highly regulated industries like banking or finance necessarily that the clients I particularly work for. But I think the reality of the fact is regardless of where you sit on the fence on that is that data privacy is going to end up driving a lot of what happens in data governance. You know, look at the 50 states compared to GDPR, which is a European privacy standard compared to every single state does it differently. And if you are doing business in all those 50 states, you got a whole lot of privacy regulations to try to comply with. And as those become more stringent and as people say, not just people as businesses say, " I want control over what you do with my data and if I'm sharing with you information about my store and who bought products in my store, I expect you to protect that. And maybe I want you to give me money for it, maybe I want to monetize it." And I think those sorts of scenarios are going to rightly or wrongly drive a lot of what happens in the data governance space and will by defacto make us more relevant.
Tim Gasper: I think that's interesting because the privacy use cases and the other types of defensive use cases going to the offense versus defense like Donna brought up in her keynote on Tuesday. Privacy falls a lot more into that defensive side of things. And as we go forward, it certainly seems that the defensive use cases are going to proliferate. It's not static, it's going to get more complicated, there's going to be more demands there and that's going to drive a lot of governance focus over in the next few years here, right? At the same time though, we want to do more offense, right? So we want to get more aligned to value. We want to say like, oh yeah, here's the data products, there's the use cases, let's do faster speed to value. You're mentioning Anthony, that's a lot. That's a lot of stuff that we got to do now. And yet, there's this sense that, oh, but is there also even an existential crisis for governance? Like that to me doesn't compute like that. Why would we have an existential crisis if all these things are demanding us, right?
Shannon Moore: It takes a village, that's for sure.
Juan Sequeda: But you're making an interesting point that privacy is what's going to drive a lot. So, if as a professional right now folks who are here who are learning, because a lot of people who come to this conference and they're coming here to learn, do you have to choose, is there a governance for offensive versus a governance for defensive? There are different approaches and I'm learning, I'm coming here, I just got... I've got introduced to data governance. Do I have to choose something to go learn? Do I'm, I'm going to be a data governance for offense, I'm going to be data governance for defense.
Shannon Moore: I can tell you what I see, whether you have to choose, I don't know. But what I see is for individuals, they choose their niche, they become specialized in privacy or security or data optimization or visualization or data science modeling or whatever. I think that's sort of inevitable. There's so many things you could do that your forced to choose by default. You end up finding your area of focus that you're the most interested in. I know at the client engagement I'm working on right now working with individuals in legal, in privacy, in security, in data strategy, in digital marketing, I mean, all those things, it's a huge range of concerns of interest. Some are offense, some are defense. So, whether you need to pick or not, but there's definitely wisdom in learning about it, just learning about marketing. There's definitely value in making sure you at least know enough to get what they care about and contribute to that.
Anthony Algmin: I think we have to acknowledge that data governance gets instantiated in many organizations from a defensive posture like compliance or audit mandate or something that is tied to a risk mitigation value add. The problem is that that can be very difficult to measure under any circumstance because the events happen so infrequently that you will never be able to directly measure them, even if you could get all the data, which you can't. So, in a short- term capacity, I think it's really important to deliver on what got you started. So, I think you have to make sure you're covering that defensive base, but I don't think that will lead to continued long- term investment by itself. I think you need to continue to do things on the offensive side, which have a greater propensity to drive revenue improvements and cost reductions because that is more tractable even through estimates or what have you, because those incidents happen more frequently. And that's the way you can get lasting investment in data governance. Because otherwise people will be like, " Okay. We checked that box. We can just put that governance on ice." I mean, who is said who's had that question of when's this data stuff going to be done? Because it's of drag. We don't like that. Well, I often say it's being done with data is being done with HR, you're just not going to be. But that is not the answer. The people who said, " Please check that box for us." That's not the answer they're looking for. What they want to do is say, " Yes. We covered it. We've got the process in place done. Let's move on."
Juan Sequeda: So, one of the things that has come up a lot has been the strategy within your organization. And I ask myself, in your organization, in your data teams, in your data governance teams, do people know the organization's strategy? Are they actually aware? What are your operational goals? Are the OKRs, are there KPIs for your team aligned to the strategy, to the operational goals of the company? I asked myself, and I would bet not that, well, I would think so, and I think that's the change we need to go do. So, this is like we need to have the entire chain of command well focused and communicating, but we're not seeing that. So, I think if there's a takeaway about what needs to happen by the end of the year for the start of the new year, my ask to say, everybody understand what are the operational goals of the company for 2023? And if it's, we better damn not get fine for this stuff, but then that's how you have to go do more protective. I mean, there's some things that are going to be obvious. I mean, foundational, but if we're seeing these types of goals and that's offensive, I'm already, I have an incentive right now, the goal companies going that way, let's go do this. So, I believe there's a gap. So my question to you all is, do you see this... is there a gap or not from your data teams understanding what are the operational and strategic goals of the company?
Anthony Algmin: I can answer this in a couple ways of multiple minds on this. One is that if your business strategic goals are developed in isolation to the point where they don't know what's possible, that's no longer a strategy. That's a wish list. So, then you have a disconnect of your own leadership with what your business can actually do. So that's a problem. The other problem is that if you're a data governance organization that likes to think it has executive support or sponsorship and you don't have alignment to the actual goals that are coming from that leadership, again, we have a disconnect. And so, I think the right answer is that if you're serious about data, which I think most organizations would at least like to think they are at this point. Then that possibility and knowledge about what's capable today and what it takes to build capabilities tomorrow needs to be brought forward to the strategic conversations for at a business level. Because that's how you can know what can we actually execute upon. If data's relevant and necessary for us to be a competitive business, then that's part of the strategy equation. And trying to do it any other way is just kidding yourselves about something or other. And unfortunately, we as data governance professionals wearing that hat may not always have the opportunity to make that case. But over time we have to find a way.
Juan Sequeda: But we may not be able to make that case right now, but I think we better figure out how to go make that case. And the leaders, the successful people out there are the ones who will be able to go do that. And if you're not able to go do that, I'm sorry, I think you're a follower and yeah, you're not a leader.
Shannon Moore: Well, and some of it is a leadership piece because I've seen organizations where they are very tapped in of well aware and understanding of what the strategic goals are for that year, for that quarter. And then I've seen the opposite extreme where Stewart's like, I have no idea why I'm doing this data profiling. I have no idea why we're building this API. I have no idea if it's even used or how it helps anybody. And frankly, I don't have time to go listen to anything senior leadership is saying on any town halls because I just got to work on doing my mapping template and it has to come from their leaders. They have to be incentivized to want to look at that.
Tim Gasper: I think that's really well stated. And even if some of the things that you're focused on are a little tactical and technical and maybe a little in the weeds, we should be doing a better job of communicating how that ties to value and how it's making an impact. So, I think that's hugely valuable. Before we go to our lightning round today, we're at the end of the year, we're on the cusp of 2023, which literally sounds like we're in a sci- fi movie, man. What do you think is the most important priority for governance in 2023 for organizations, for our community?
Anthony Algmin: So, I would say the most important thing that we need to do in data governance in 2023 and always is to lead by example. And if we are going to be the data people, let's start by doing that well ourselves. Measure, quantify, work with the data, understand data quality and use that to teach others and demonstrate to others why that's valuable.
Shannon Moore: And I would say a little bit different answer, I mean data governance is only going to continue to grow because of privacy, because of the exponential growth of data, because of all the companies that are doing digital transformations to the cloud. Data governance is not going anywhere. But I would say learning to communicate outside of a technical audience is going to be the driver to making data governance not relevant because it's always relevant. But again, to having people, to bringing people on board and having them be a part of the fun, the adventure.
Juan Sequeda: Oh, this is great. So, first of all, lead by example. And the irony that as data people, we can't explain the metrics and stuff that we're doing to other people, but everybody else is expected to do the data literacy, to understand how to do their dashboards and stuff. There's a lot of irony in there and especially that way, wait, don't you want to have the data behind the data what you're doing? And I have to say, it's really frustrating sometimes when I talk to people that are like, " No. We don't have to provide all this ROI because we enable everybody." It's like, " Wait a minute, everybody's freaking accountable. The CEO's accountable to the board." Like, " Who the hell do you think that you're on some high horse that you cannot, you can get away with this. No, you got to be accountable." And I think that's what we said, fully agree with you on that. And I think the communication, I think again goes back to that theme that we've been seeing in the last couple days. People understand, people understand how to communicate. That is something we really, really need to focus in. Even Donna was saying that the keynote yesterday is like, " Oh, it's too technical, you can't understand." I'm like, " No. Sorry. It's your problem if you can't explain it to you, but you have to go change."
Shannon Moore: Well, and she also made the point too that as we are experts in this particular area, there's a whole lot of stuff we know nothing about. I'm not an expert about finance. I'm not an expert about supply chain. I'm not an expert about a number of things. So just because someone doesn't speak tech does not mean they're not very much have a tremendous expertise in their own field. That's obvious. But...
Tim Gasper: Yeah. I think very well said. And before we go to lightning round, so you gave some predictions about 2023, what we need to focus on. What's your message to the vendors? There's a lot of tech vendors out there. What should they be doing different in 2023?
Juan Sequeda: What do they need to do more in focus? What should they stop doing? Honest, no BS.
Shannon Moore: I have really strong opinions on this.
Juan Sequeda: Go. Go. Go.
Shannon Moore: I have really strong opinions on this. Make it like a consumer experience. When I log onto my catalog, I want to feel like I'm using Amazon. That's my advice. I don't want it to feel like I'm using some IDE tool to develop my software platform. That's me.
Anthony Algmin: I love that. And then I'm also equally passionate about, please learn how your product is used in the real world. I am so tired of vendors who create software that they've all just been software developers their whole careers. And they don't actually know what it's like to maybe work on building a data catalog or something like that. Whereas, clearly data. world, you guys have eaten your own dog food for a long time. But I see this broadly across a number of spectrums. You're so focused on what you're building. And we can learn from this in data governance too. Don't be focused on what you're building, be focused on how are people resonating with it, using it, struggling with it. I've long said career consultants struggle to understand how to improve because a lot of times they will go and do and they'll have to move on before they get the feedback loop of learning, where did we go wrong? Where did we build something that wasn't easy to work with? And so, find ways to learn from your customers, where are those challenges? And actually, hear it and build it in. It makes a difference.
Juan Sequeda: Spot on.
Shannon Moore: It's our experience.
Tim Gasper: Love it.
Juan Sequeda: Thank you. So, I think on this last point, I think a good litmus test is I say do the vendors, do you have user researchers? Do you actually go off and talk to your users? Do you have design teams who go off and do user research? That's a good question for your vendors. If you're going off and shopping, I mean honest, no BS. This should be, we're not being salesy right now. This is definitely something that you should consider for any type of tool, any type of software you're doing. All right, so with that time flies. We can keep talking and stuff, but hey, it's time to go to our lightning round, which is a Hey, presented by data.world. Well, I have to say Tim and I are super freaking lucky. We got to do this for two and a half years. This is this... yeah. I'm so cool. Thanks data. world to doing this. So, I'm going to kick it off. First question, can we train empathy, or do we have to focus on hiring for it?
Shannon Moore: Wow. Can you train empathy.
Juan Sequeda: Or do we have to focus on hiring for it?
Shannon Moore: That is such a deep profound question. I don't even know what to say to that.
Tim Gasper: And you can always say yes or no.
Shannon Moore: That's not very empathetic, Tim, that's not very empathetic.
Tim Gasper: I'm sorry. You can give a little context.
Shannon Moore: I think you can definitely hire for empathy. I think a piece of it is culture. Having a culture that embraces... we help people, we're helpers a culture that we are okay with you making mistakes. We are okay with people admitting they've made mistakes and not being punished for that either explicitly or through shaming people feeling stupid. But can empathy be trained? I think you could definitely learn empathy by being on a team that that's a helpful caring learning team. So yes, of course it can be learned. Humans are learning animals, of course it can be learned.
Juan Sequeda: How about you?
Anthony Algmin: Yeah. I mean, I would agree that some people demonstrate more natural empathy than others. It's also not always evident what somebody's level of empathy is based on their actions. It's some people are more outgoing with that empathy than others. It isn't always easily measured by someone's facial expressions or the words they choose or what have you. But I absolutely agree this is a skill that can be learned. And I think that while there are some old dogs that won't learn that new trick and some people just won't care. I hope that you have a culture where they wouldn't have been hired in the first place. But that is something that you can certainly move the needle on and improve over time.
Shannon Moore: But I have to throw in my mom's advice. My mom always said, the people that are hardest to love are usually the ones that need it the most. And that's true, if you remember that with the prickly people on your team. 100% true.
Tim Gasper: All right. Everybody love your prickly people too. All right? All right. Second question here, lightning around. We'll start with you, Anthony. So, in Donna Burbank's keynote, she noted that she did her lab, and she did an unofficial survey and only 10% of folks said that they were leading with offense. Right? And the other 90% were leading with defense. In the next five years, will we get to let's say 50/50 or better?
Anthony Algmin: No. No way.
Tim Gasper: Fair.
Anthony Algmin: I mean, that's a huge move. I'll give you maybe 15%. But yeah, we are not going to see that rapid evolution in that timeframe. I don't think that's likely. I don't think that's possible. I think this, we are trying to move mountains with this, and we are adding more mountains on top of those mountains every day. More and more data, more and more complexity, more and more business process, more and more applications. We're going to be lucky if we don't lose ground because it's still so loud. The defensive posture that organizations will take to trigger the data governance. We just haven't gotten that far yet.
Shannon Moore: Can somebody build a data science model on that? The variables of the number of state privacy regulation come up with that predictive model? Yeah. Predictive model on that?
Juan Sequeda: What is your answer?
Tim Gasper: Anything you'd change or answer?
Shannon Moore: I'm totally with him.
Juan Sequeda: All right.
Tim Gasper: Yeah. I love the candor. That's great.
Juan Sequeda: So next question, resource constraints are real. Is the biggest bottleneck for governance that it needs more investment by the business?
Shannon Moore: Is that the biggest problem?
Juan Sequeda: No, I-
Shannon Moore: Don't think it's necessarily the biggest problem. Is it a problem? For sure it is. But what department have you been that has said, we got so many, many people, we don't even know what to do with all these people. No one says that ever. So that's my answer.
Anthony Algmin: I mean, I think if we could demonstrate the staggering return on investment, we like to think we have, I bet we can get the resources. And so, I think the biggest problem is that we really struggle in demonstrating the value that we believe we have. And if we can do that and still not get the resources, then maybe that becomes the biggest problem.
Tim Gasper: I think that's a great answer there. We have to articulate the value that we're creating and that we're providing and then the investment's going to follow, right? All right. Last question. Lightning round. Should data governance really be data enablement?
Shannon Moore: Yes. That's my answer. Sticking with it.
Tim Gasper: Love it.
Anthony Algmin: Ditto.
Tim Gasper: Awesome.
Juan Sequeda: So, can we change the name of this conference next year called the data enablement? Yeah?
Shannon Moore: Data... D- E-I-Q.
Juan Sequeda: D- E- I- Q? Data enablement?
Tim Gasper: How do we feel ....
Juan Sequeda: Right?
Anthony Algmin: I don't know that ...
Shannon Moore: I don't know that Tony wants to do that.
Juan Sequeda: DEIQ. DEIQ. D- E- I- Q. Anyway. All right. Well, hey, it's always we do our takeaway. So, Tim, take us away with takeaways. It's takeaway time.
Tim Gasper: Awesome. So, it's time for our takeaways. So, amazing conversation about governance and how we can make more progress. Some key takeaways from this conference as well as some great takeaways that you all have been bringing in with your own answers here. So, one of the biggest things is that it feels like governance is still in a lot of the same place and we need to really affect some change to get it into a better direction. There's more data to govern, there's a lot more use cases, there's a lot more complexity and we're still trying to get the uptake and we don't know if we're seeing more success than we have before. And so, we have to really look at the metrics, look at the impact that we're having and really focus a lot on the business value. That was a big theme that came through today around the business value. Shannon, you had mentioned that you saw the sessions on gaming governance and just in general a lot around how do we get people to care more, people to care more. And so that's a really important theme. How do we do that? How do we motivate that? There's too much focus on the technical aspect and now we need to really focus more on the business aspect as well. Organizations don't change people and them do. I thought that was a really great quote. How do we get people to care? Well, communication is key. Understand your audience. It's not just about caring about data governance, but it's about what's best for the business. What are the challenges of the business? How do we connect data to that? We talked about this hotel analogy, right? Can I take more of a service mentality and really think about how I can serve and what are the things that the hotel does that are more table stakes versus the things that they do that are delightful? And then Anthony, you mentioned about speed, right? The speed to providing that value is really important. And so, those quick wins become really important for us in governance. We talked about marketing mindset and really thinking more like a marketer or a product manager around some of these different things. What is the role of governance around data products? Well, it probably plays a really significant role and maybe even drives data product management. Data as a product means you must have a great product, but you also have to have great product marketing. And so, you need to sell and you need to market the product and pick a good market to stick that product into, which is the tying it to the strategic initiatives that really the executive team and that your company really cares about. Anthony, you mentioned drive adoption. Adoption is key. And we talked about the ROI. Tie it to the business initiatives, execute the fundamentals, speed to use, and really think about those incentives. Shannon, you mentioned that privacy and some of these more defensive use cases can be a very important incentive to get right, because that's the stuff that you know don't have a choice. You really have to do a good job with that. Juan, what were your big takeaways?
Juan Sequeda: Well, we had a lot of discussion about the offensive and defensive and I think we will, we were asking like, " Oh, what should you have to go specialize or not?" Well, we will probably specialize, but you'll need to understand both effectively, right? And you need to do some things on the offensive side because you can get that lasting investment in data governance, right? You're affecting the top line of the revenue and the strategy and being done with data is being done with HR. It's something we need a really, that's a very important key strategy, key takeaway there. And we talked about that gap between data teams that do the data teams know the strategy. And Anthony, you were said something is if you do things without knowing what is possible, then that that's not a strategy. You're just a wish list of things, right? So, we really need to make sure that we have that clear communication throughout the entire hierarchy. Priorities for next year, lead by example. We need to measure, quantify, understand the quality and use that to teach others. So, let's lead by example and we need to be able to communicate. I think we need to improve our communication, be able to communicate outside the technical audience. And then the honest no BS recommendation for vendors, us included. And for everybody out there listening to vendors, make it a consumer experience. Make it delightful, like shopping on Amazon. And Anthony said, " Put yourself into shoes of the users." Don't get obsessed with what you're building, but really understand them. How do we do? Anything we missed? Takeaways?
Shannon Moore: That was a very comprehensive summary. I'm impressed.
Tim Gasper: How do we do? Do we cover it?
Juan Sequeda: Hey, we're paying attention here. All right. So, three final questions.
Tim Gasper: Three final question.
Juan Sequeda: Three final question. So, what's your advice about data life, broad question on purpose. Who should we invite next? And third, what resources do you follow? What people, conferences, podcasts, books, newsletters, whatever. Shannon.
Shannon Moore: My advice, my piece of advice would be if you have to describe what you do and you're a data go, this is like what happened to me. I had to describe to somebody who knows nothing, he's in finance, he sells financial products. He's like, " What do you do? I do this data at analytics thing. You mean you're a data scientist?" And I had to explain data governance and I said, " It's like if you go to the library and all the books are on the floor and there's no card catalog and you have to organize it, that's what data governance is, but for data." And he's like, " Oh, I totally get that." And that end of discussion. So that's my advice about how to describe your career. Resources I use personally, I like Jonah Berger, I believe is his last name. Might be Bergen marketing professor from Wharton about influence. He has a lot of information on influence. I like that. I really like prosci. com. It's organizational change management. I follow Gartner blogs a lot and I follow a lot of stuff going on DATAVERSITY. So, I would give a plug for DATAVERSITY as well.
Juan Sequeda: Who should we invite next?
Shannon Moore: Oh, I would invite Steve McLaughlin about the gamification. I really liked his stuff.
Anthony Algmin: Awesome.
Juan Sequeda: Perfect.
Anthony Algmin: That was a great talk.
Juan Sequeda: All right. Anthony.
Anthony Algmin: All right. So, what's the first question?
Juan Sequeda: What's your advice?
Anthony Algmin: Oh yes. My first advice is, I mean, we're recording this at the end of the day, DATAVERSITY DGIQ Conference. And right now everybody's got a lot of ideas swimming around in your head. I also think we tend to have a propensity to overthink things. So, I think let it simmer a little bit and try to simplify. To Shannon's point, we can't bring all this complexity to our businesses and be like, here's the dump of everything and expect that to go well. So, really try to just take a breath and decide, okay, what's most important in my organization this week? I got a lot of good questions to ask, but I need to take a measured approach to that or otherwise it's just going to blow right past everyone. And then in terms of resources, I would recommend, again, all the DATAVERSITY stuff. The DATAVERSITY online training has become incredibly comprehensive. There's a lot, lot there. A lot of webinars, a lot of free resources. There's a lot of great data podcasts out there now. I mean, there's a ton of good resources. Yes. And so, those are I think a key things. I would also recommend a book that everyone should read is the Phoenix Project. So, Gene Kim's classic book. I read it every year and it just helps reorient, okay, what's really important. So, Phoenix Project. And then in terms of next guest, I think you might be well served by having Bill Tanenbaum, he's a data lawyer. He did a couple talks this week. I think that was, it really opened your eyes to a different perspective while still giving a connection to the data space that we have. So, I would definitely get some additional perspectives that are data tangential.
Juan Sequeda: All right. Well, just before we say goodbye, everything wrap up next week is our season finale. It's season four. Over 110 episodes. Tim and I are just going to do our takeaway of the takeaway. So, we're going to summarize everything that we have talked about in the last four or five months, I think.
Tim Gasper: So, if you missed this season or you skipped a few, if you want to get everything that we've learned in season four, compact it into 50 minutes, then come and listen. It's going to be fun.
Juan Sequeda: And then we're going to kick off season five on January 11th. So, we're going to take a couple weeks break and our first guest is going to be Bill Inmon, the father of the data warehouse. It's going to be a phenomenal coverage already. We've been meeting with him. He's just such an amazing, awesome guy.
Tim Gasper: A wealth of knowledge.
Juan Sequeda: And then after this we're going to head to the Hamilton bar just around the corner. So, join us for a post- conference drink on catalog and cocktails. And with that, Shannon, Anthony, thank you so much. DGIQ. DATAVERSITY. Thank you so much. If you like what you heard, join us every week. You can find us on LinkedIn, on Twitter Live-
Tim Gasper: And Spotify. Yeah. You can find us everywhere.
Juan Sequeda: It hits the podcast tomorrow.
Tim Gasper: And if you're curious, what the hell is that data. world thing? Go check out data. world catalog and governance platform. So, thank you everyone.
Juan Sequeda: Thank you very much everybody.
Anthony Algmin: Thank you. Thanks-
Speaker 1: This is Catalog& Cocktails. A special thanks to data. world for supporting the show. Carly Bergoff for producing John Williams and Brian Jacob for the show music. And thank you to the entire cataloging cocktails fan based.
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What better place to discuss the current state of data governance and what should the industry be focusing on than a live episode at the Data Governance and Information Quality (DGIQ) Conference.
Join Tim Gasper and Juan Sequeda LIVE from DGIQ in Washington, D.C. with special guests Anthony Algmin and Shannon Moore to have an honest no-bs discussion data governance and how it's all about people.