Like we’ve been saying all season, product information is central to the success of your business. But just having your PIM in order might not be enough. In the era of data-driven businesses, you need a better view of your data. You need data governance.
In the second post in this series on Product Information Management, we recommended a few members for your PIM core working group. In this post, we are taking your PIM initiative one step higher to fit into the strategic data governance initiatives of your organization.
Why a Data Governance Council for PIM?
The role of the PIM core working group is to get PIM from an idea on the drawing board to a functional, steady-state deployment. However, guaranteeing the continued health and utility of PIM requires a sustained effort — best left to the experts of data management, the Data Governance Council (DGC).
The Data Governance Council is the body that governs your organization’s data governance policies, guides and advises your data strategy, prioritizes and approves your data governance initiatives and projects, and offers ongoing support for these.
1. DGC helps communication and change management
A PIM implementation is a cross-functional undertaking that requires many teams to participate and modify their ways of working. As such, it can encounter resistance from many quarters. Your data governance council is armed with a strategic view of PIM’s importance and practical experience in championing the cause of data.
It can help abate the fear of change, convert sceptics, and promote the enterprise-wide adoption of PIM.
2. DGC enforces a data quality framework and keeps it running
We have looked at how to audit and fix your product data to make it PIM-ready. However, product information is dynamic. New products constantly enter your inventory and leave it; old products get regular upgrades and updates. To keep the engine running smoothly, all new data that enters the PIM system has to abide by your quality metrics.
Your DG council can maintain this rigor by performing incremental audits of data samples and influencing data owners to uphold predetermined quality standards.
3. DGC selects the tools and technologies for PIM
There are several factors that go into selecting a PIM application — your feature requirements, the ease of data migration, pricing etc. Your data governance council, in conjunction with other PIM stakeholders, can help select one suited to your organization’s data needs. More importantly, one that integrates seamlessly with the organization’s existing tech stack.
Not only is the DG council involved in PIM tool selection, it can also ensure its effectiveness by building or buying supporting technologies required for a robust PIM program.
4. Ensures compliance with data regulations
Product data is often subject to different regulations and norms in different countries. The interpretation of these laws can be tricky, and a failure to comply makes you vulnerable to heavy losses.
Your data governance council, as experts in data regulations, can help bring your product information to a compliant form across different markets.
In short, a data governance council is an enabler for your PIM initiative. They will make sure that the vision and intention of the PIM initiative remain intact, while the efforts are ongoing and adaptive. While a full-featured PIM can control data in many ways, it cannot control the human aspect. You need a supervising body to ensure all teams and stakeholders use PIM as effectively as possible.
The best-case scenario would be an existing data governance council to take your PIM setup under its wings. However, if your organization does not have a DG yet, you can begin at the level of PIM.
Your PIM stakeholders and sponsors can form a DG council and could, in fact, trigger the formation of an enterprise-wide data governance policy.
Now that you are ready with a Data Governance Council for your PIM, let’s pick a tool, shall we? Be right back, next week!
In the meantime, do talk to us if you would like to discuss how to set up a DG council to help your PIM efforts.