One presentation that stood out at this year’s Enterprise Data World conference was Adaptive’s look at operationalizing the practice of data governance. In fact, it inspired me to write an article about the topic for DATAVERSITY.
What struck me most about the presentation was the lack of product shilling or marketing for Adaptive — a surprise considering this was a sponsored event. Instead the primary presenter, Jojy Mathew, Global Practice Leader for Capgemini, focused on vendor-neutral, real-world business examples of data governance in practice.
Focusing on Data Governance in Practice
Never mind the What or the How, the Why is arguably the most important question to be answered when triggering that true spark of real learning. Mathew hit the mark when opening his data governance presentation with pointed references to the heightened regulatory environment in these post-Sarbanes-Oxley days.
After answering the Why, Mathew dove into the How with a clear walkthrough of the steps needed to implement a data governance practice, from infancy to maturity. Once again, there was nary a mention of the product vendor.
Answering the Why is More Important than the What
Finally, as the presentation wrapped up, during a question and answer session, someone in the audience commented on how Adaptive’s product line helped his company reach their goals around data governance. It was the first mention of the presentation sponsor. Was he a plant? I don’t think so; I am not one for conspiracy theories anyway.
Focusing a conference presentation on effective, vendor neutral business practices as supposed to merely listing bullet points from a software product one-sheet proved to be a winning strategy. Getting a surprise audience recommendation was a bonus. Answer the Why first and the What will follow. That sounds almost like a lost Funkadelic album.