Data Princesses And Knights

It has dawned on me that from reading my data governance tales so far, you may have the impression that I am a narrator, a teller of Data Governance stories. In this blog I want to put the record straight, for that is not at all the case and I very much have a role to play.  This blog is a tale of transformations, as initially I cast myself in the wrong role...

Transformations in fairy tales are a well known concept - ugly ducklings into swans, frogs into princes, pumpkins into carriages - you get the idea. My own Data Governance story is no different. As I have mentioned in previous blogs, when I started working in Data Management I soon worked out what needed to be done, but had difficulty getting others to sign up to the quest to implement data governance.  At that time a colleague occasionally referred to me as a Data Princess and although he didn't necessarily intend it to be, I decided in my ignorance to take it as a compliment.  So for a while I stayed a data princess in my ivory tower, evangelising about what needed to be done and wondering why everyone didn't rush to join my cause or sign up to fight that well known dragon Data Quality.

Perhaps the tower was too tall, my hair not long enough or maybe the briar thicket really was impregnable, so no dashing prince or knight was able to come to my aid. I pondered all these possibilities (or real life analogies) before enlightenment came upon me.  Staying in my tower preaching good data governance practice wasn't changing anything and certainly no one came to assist me.  I realised that whilst being a Data Princess had seemed rather glamorous and appealing, I had cast myself in an ineffective role that wasn't helping the organisation in its crusade to implement data governance.

My education at an all girls school left me no doubt that I could turn my hand to anything I chose and I slowly came to the realisation that the reason that no knight was coming to my aid, was because that was in fact the role I should be playing. If anything was going to change then I needed to be out there making it happen, instead of sitting in my tower preaching.

So a Data Knight I became and I am now very much in the thick of it on a daily basis helping organisations fight battles to help them improve their data quality. Not unsurprisingly I find the role so much more fulfilling, I actually make a difference by practicing what I formally preached.

And as for being at teller of stories? Well that of course I also do, for no Data Knight is going to succeed without good communication skills and telling stories is a great way to get your message across don't you think?


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