Following processes and adhering to policies is a large part of information governance. Governance is like two sides of a coin, each side has its own look and feel, but are part of the same coin, much like setting and enforcing policies.
We recently released our Governance Process Designer as a component of our Information Governance Cloud platform, and let me be the first to say, it wasn’t a flip of a coin that got us here. Reflective of how our customers implement information governance and how we envision them being more productive when using governance to drive business value, we created the Information Governance Cloud platform with a focus on replacing human effort with software driven automation.
Information governance has to start somewhere, and when it comes to data-driven processes, it starts with designing, enforcing and executing the most optimal data process for the organization. These processes should lower costs and maximize profit, all while ensuring any data created or modified is accurate and conforms to the policies already in place within the organization.
Process design is key and often requires multiple stakeholders, but the real issue with its current state is that it is a manual process and disconnected with other aspects of information governance.
Manual Setup and Disconnected Systems
Data stewards today are building processes in generic visual designer tools. This is great because it results in a formalized and approved process which can then be passed to someone who will be able to build it in your process execution tool of choice. But there is a common disconnect between the designer and execution tool that requires manual intervention that consumes additional resources and time.
While building these processes, an experienced designer must also know the capabilities of the execution engine in order to build a valid process that can be executed with the appropriate checks for data quality, execution of business rules, monitoring of the process and ensuring the right data is presented to the right person at the right time and in the right format. When new users are introduced to these tools with little business process creation experience, they tend to get lost using such open-ended tools, requiring of course additional resources and time.
Automation, Reusability and Focus on Information Governance
Designed for data-driven information governance and providing data stewards the ability to create and amend data processes without needing to write a single line of code, the Governance Process Designer becomes a powerful tool for data stewards and business users.
Here are three things you need to know about Governance Process Designer:
- Automation – Being able to take the process from design and automatically build an executable process in your governance tool is a major time saver. There are no human translation issues between the design and implementation. This is all automatic and allows for no human errors when they manually convert a diagram into the complex setup of BPMN workflow engines, removing the disconnect that is common between governance execution and design tools.
- Reusability – Governance elements can be used in multiple ways and are more than just a descriptor. There is a lot of information that goes into a governance element such as decision points and data entry tasks. Reusing these elements eliminates the need for a user to recreate it every time that role, scenario, task, check, process, field, etc., is used in another context. Most designers just have shapes and labels, but we’ve incorporated additional metadata into these shapes that drives the automation and provides documentation of the business processes.
- Focus – As mentioned previously, governance has a strong tie to policies, and to properly enforce those policies you need a strong focus on the act of governing. In this case, Information Governance Cloud is built for governance, so it won’t let you build something that cannot be executed as a process. It knows you will reuse roles in your company in different business scenarios. It knows that information governance is an ongoing process. We’ve put up guard rails to not limit the user, but to make them more efficient in getting the process out, so we know that it will validate and work in the execution engine.
Organizations will soon be able to look to one place where policies, business glossary, enterprise architecture and process design all live under one roof and work in harmony. Processes will link to your business glossary and allow you to associate applicable policies, giving you one system where you can find out where your policies are getting enforced, which terms relate to which policies and processes, along with an overview of what data in your systems is being governed and what isn’t.
The future for information governance is looking bright, and we are just at the beginning of what can be done to help you run your governance efficiently and effectively without the need of additional resources and time.
About the Author
Charles is the VP of Product Management at BackOffice Associates, and brings more than 13 years of experience in the enterprise data management and integration space. He has strong roots in product development and is currently responsible for leading and managing the direction of the BackOffice product suite targeted at increasing the value of business data.Follow on Twitter More Content by Charles Evans