Data Democratization Drives New Forms of Data Governance

Over recent years, the adoption of low-code/no-code platforms has grown significantly, lowering organizations’ reliance on technical staff and instead giving rise to “Citizen” development capabilities and self-service models. Data democratization is an invaluable capability when it comes to empowering end users with trusted data for analytics and decision-making, but it inevitably comes with new governance challenges. With a larger number of actors accessing and manipulating enterprise data assets, the potential for conflicts, duplication, reconciliation issues, data integrity, and multiplication of data quality issues, increases, so the traditional Data Governance/Information Management office needs to broaden its scope to enable citizen use of data assets while managing the risks that emerge. 

The leading practice that has emerged it the establishment of a Citizen-facing Centre of Enablement (CoE), which not only provides governance controls, but also offers direction and support to Citizens so they can meet their data needs. A Citizen CoE needs to be able to scale with the number of users and ensure security and privacy controls for all Citizen-led projects. It will also need to set out standards, procedures, and methodologies to ensure Citizens incorporate best practices into their projects and make provisions for training and onboarding of Citizens. Consequently, the CoE design must contemplate the full technology landscape and ensure the comprehensive management of digital assets. The article includes Adastra’s Citizen CoE Logical Deployment Model, which indicates the typical functions a Citizen CoE will govern and enable, and the related competencies that will be involved in the process. 

An ideal Citizen CoE finds the right balance of centralization and decentralization to function in an agile manner and mitigate risk. This article delves into the scope of a Citizen CoE, the challenges it needs to address, and its optimal organizational and engagement model to leverage the advantages of both centralized and decentralized organizations. 

It also covers three illustrative Citizen CoE use cases, which showcase how the CoE can enable different types of users achieve their business objectives. Lastly, the article offers a glimpse into how Adastra approaches the development of Citizen CoEs for our clients, right from the design phase to the time the CoE is live. 

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About the authors

Mark Kohout, Governance and Digital Transformation

Mark Kohout 

Practice Lead 

Governance and Digital Transformation

Maker of bespoke governance solutions that enable data-driven business and drive digital transformation 

Kiril Rusev, Senior Consultant, Data Governance

Kiril Rusev

Senior Consultant, Data Governance