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Even those of us in the data management community who should know better can fall victim to a form of data bias, which I'll loosely define in this case as a conscious or unconscious act of manipulating data to reach a predetermined conclusion.

What happened?  In short, I've had a pretty one-sided poll posted here on GovernYourData.com.

Here's what the poll asked, with the different response options:

Which organizational strength has the greatest influence on the success of your data governance program?
The most influential strength is:
  • a "burning platform" forcing prioritization
  • executive sponsorship
  • vision and business case
  • supporting architecture and enabling tools
  • experienced data stewards
  • trusted program metrics

At face value it's not such an awful poll.   Every one of these bullets would be a fantastic and valuable thing to have to support your data governance program.   But in retrospect it comes as no surprise that 100% of the respondents to the poll answered "Executive Sponsorship".  

Perhaps 5-10 years ago when competencies like master data management and data governance were still in their infancy, there may have been a livelier debate regarding the importance of executive sponsorship vs. some of the other options.    But myriad cast studies, surveys and post-mortems of successful and failed data governance initiatives all share the same best practice: get executive buy-in and sponsorship or don't bother!

So it's time for a new GovernYourData poll, and next time I'll be sure to check my data bias at the door! :-)

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