Modernizing to the Workday platform enables organizations to increase efficiency and gain insights that were not feasible with fragmented legacy systems. However, implementing the Workday platform is not a silver bullet to solving the data management challenges organizations are facing in today’s data-driven climate. Adapting to the increasing speed, scale, and variety of data along with growing data privacy regulations present obstacles that every organization is working to address. These challenges are further compounded with frustrated data consumers having to spend more time collecting and cleansing data than using it. While Workday’s modern platform can help tackle these challenges, a data governance discipline is required to formalize the data standards and policies that not only guide the implementation of the platform but also provide the accountability structure to uphold them across the organization. When planning for a Workday implementation it is essential to evaluate your data governance strategy if one does not exist. Launching your data governance journey with a Workday implementation presents a golden opportunity to shift your data culture forward while working through the critical data and process requirements of the business.

Data Governance with a Workday Implementation

As an official Workday partner, Premier International has deep experience supporting organizations with data migrations from complex legacy systems to the Workday platform. Our methodology includes data readiness activities that expose data quality issues that require remediation to migrate data successfully to the target environment. While this exercise is beneficial to ensuring clean data is migrated, there are no methods in place to certify that it will remain clean in the future. For this reason, we strongly advise that data governance is a must to ensure post-implementation success.

Starting data governance as part of a Workday implementation may cause concern when viewed as a constraint. We firmly believe data governance can work in parallel and should never pose any blockers to the execution. Instead, outputs from the data migration and implementation activities complement data governance by serving as inputs and use-cases. While data governance provides oversight, the data readiness, design, configuration, and decisioning aspects of a Workday implementation inform data governance with the accompanying data standards, processes, policies, and accountability structures that need to be formalized.

Figure 1: How a Workday implementation and data governance complement one another

Making the Case for Data Governance

Data governance is a fundamental data management discipline that provides immediate value in addressing the needs for data quality, data literacy, data security and compliance. The simple goal of data governance is to establish clarity and trust in the data that drives the business. This is accomplished by formalizing working definitions, data standards and policies that are enforced through an accountability and stewardship model. With a data governance capability established, organizations can effectively manage their data across the key functions of data management.

Figure 2: Data management functions supported by data governance

Our Data Governance Framework

The traditional application of data governance has been met with more failure than success. It is characterized as a centralized program that focuses on data protection using command-and-control methods that dictate how data is accessed and used throughout organization. This approach faced failure as it would often result in bureaucratic processes the made data governance a bottleneck to producing any value. A key lesson learned was that data governance is not a one-size-fits all approach and needs to be flexible in tailoring to an organization’s specific needs.

We take a modern approach to data governance by using our agile framework that is centered on the goals of promoting data usage by establishing trust while enforcing adherence to data security policies. With this framework we apply a use-case driven methodology to launch data governance and iteratively scale it to a desired state with an intent to provide immediate business value. The key pillars of the framework ensure that both culture and technology support the people, process, and methods to establish data governance.

Figure 3: Premier International’s agile data governance framework

Using our framework clients quickly realize that there are many aspects of data management that are already being governed informally in operational siloes or systems. Our framework recognizes the need to formalize those behaviors by establishing a data governance discipline. By raising awareness and fostering collaboration around the working standards, policies, and guidelines for using and managing data, data governance serves as a success enablement factor for any business initiative that hinges on data.