5 topics to cover in data governance meetings

I’m not a fan of meetings in general and data governance requires quite a few and they are always packed. To be as efficient as possible, you need an agenda, for the attendees to come prepared and for the chair to keep the meeting on schedule and within its scope. There are also a lot of topics to cover, depending on the scope of the program, its drivers, goals and immediate needs. Though, there are 5 topics you should always be mindful of and go over on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis in your data governance council meetings. Here they are, along with their recommended frequencies:

1. Data governance strategy review

Frequency: Quarterly

Purpose: To monitor the implementation and execution of the data governance program. To ensure integration and alignment between it and other data management programs is in place as well as to the organization’s strategy and goals.


2. Cost-benefit analysis

Frequency: Quarterly

Purpose: To track the return on investment arising from managing data as an asset: from improved data acquisition, creation, integration, maintenance, dissemination, from having a common understanding on the usage of data and information and so on. The frequency usually aligns with the budget status meetings.

3. Data quality status

Frequency: Monthly

Purpose: To monitor the progress of data quality efforts. This includes identifying and assigning data owners, data stewards, developing policies, procedures,  and standards. There might also be escalations which are brought to the council by the data stewardship working groups. Often, this topic is driven by one of the main drivers of data governance.

For a successful data governance program you need to identify its main driver. Here are 3 of the most common drivers.


4. Change management status

Frequency: Monthly

Purpose: To go over the change management/ communication plan and monitor the progress of training and communication efforts and needs. As I’m sure you already know, change management is crucial for the success of the data governance program. It relies a lot on its overall communication, enforcing the importance of data and data governance during on-boarding, providing the necessary training of tools and concepts to employees, and reiterating the concept of “What is it in for me?”.

5. Council membership

Frequency: Annually (or as vacancies arise)

Purpose: To ensure the data governance council has continuity and representation from all desired business areas.


Of course, there are a lot of topics to cover during data governance council meetings. Each could also cover specific data tools, reports, analytics, enterprise data and information requests and so on, but you should not forget about those listed above as recurring topics on your agenda. The frequency of the council meetings is also established by the maturity of your data governance program. During the early stages you will meet more often and as the program matures, the council meetings will lessen in scope and frequency.

How about the topics covered during a regular meeting? Let me know if you are interested in getting some insights or share your own.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

About the author 

George Firican

George Firican is the Director of Data Governance and Business Intelligence at the University of British Columbia, which is ranked among the top 20 public universities in the world. His passion for data led him towards award-winning program implementations in the data governance, data quality, and business intelligence fields. Due to his desire for continuous improvement and knowledge sharing, he founded LightsOnData, a website which offers free templates, definitions, best practices, articles and other useful resources to help with data governance and data management questions and challenges. He also has over twelve years of project management and business/technical analysis experience in the higher education, fundraising, software and web development, and e-commerce industries.

You may also like: