I spent last week at two amazing data conferences in the US. Firstly I was at Enterprise Dataversity in Chicago and from there I flew to Richmond, Virginia to join the International Data Quality Summit. Both were excellent events and gave me the opportunity to meet in person some data friends that until then had only been “virtual” friends via the wonders of social media. Of course I also got to meet up with others who I had been lucky enough to meet previously and finally there are my new data friends who I would never have come across if I had not met them at the conferences.
Going back to my virtual data friends, I have always considered that I had good relationships with these people, but it's amazing how much better I know these people now that I have actually met them and spent some time with them. It really doesn’t take long to build rapport with people, just a chat over coffee or a meal makes a huge difference in building relationships.
It bears out something that I taught on one of my tutorials this week - the importance of building relationships and rapport with your stakeholders (especially your Data Owners and Data Stewards). Sending an email asking them to be a Data Owner is unlikely to be successful, but meeting them face to face and explaining what data governance is and why you think they should be a data owner will be much more successful. Especially when you take the time to get to know them and the challenges that they are facing, so that you can articulate what being a Data Owner will mean to them.
Sometimes it just isn’t possible to meet up face to face and in those circumstances you will need to work hard to make the most of the communication options that you have available. But as I experienced on numerous occasions last week, good long distance relationships can very quickly become so much stronger when you can meet up in person.
So if it is possible to meet your senior stakeholders when implementing data governance, make sure that you do and make the most of that opportunity to build relationships and rapport. And of course if you get the opportunity to attend a data conference, make sure that you take it. It really is an excellent environment for learning from others experiences and meeting and networking with your peers.
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