A “Light” Approach to Data Governance Enabled Enterprise Data Sharing

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A lightweight data governance approach developed by Sagence helped a health system make data-driven decisions by reducing the friction between the requesters and providers of data and enabled enterprise-wide data sharing.


Our client is a not-for-profit Catholic health system. They faced a common industry challenge: sharing data and responding to data requests with their 16,000 caregivers, 900+ providers and 10 medical centers. A recent system-wide adoption of the Epic Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system further strained the health system’s data sharing abilities with the rollout of reporting functionality, training and user adoption hurdles. Our client previously attempted a data governance initiative with a different firm, but it was unsuccessful due to its heavyweight approach.


Despite a previous failed data governance attempt, the new executive leadership team recognized that data governance would be a critical factor in their ability to become a data-driven health system because data governance ensures the availability, usability, integrity and security of data for the entire enterprise. However, the health system required a data governance model and structure that was lightweight, federated and appropriate for their organization. Taking our client’s culture into account, Sagence designed an operating model, created a data partnership organizational model and advised on best-fit data management tools.


  • Data Governance Operating Model: Sagence developed a set of processes to ensure effective responses to organizational data needs including data request processing, self-service education, metric and report communication standards, decision making and prioritization, data validation and quality and data protection.


  • Data Governance Organization: Because the leadership team required a “light” data governance organizational model, the Sagence team identified existing data stakeholders and worked with sponsors to incorporate data governance activities into their existing responsibilities. We established a minimum amount of orchestration, coordination processes and roles to keep the model lean and sustainable.


  • Data Governance Tools: Sagence assessed and provided non biased recommendations on tools for a data glossary, metadata and master data management, data rules management, data request processing and data quality management.


With executive alignment on the purpose and priorities of the data governance initiative, the health system was able to integrate the newly created data governance model and organization. This lightweight data governance initiative solved some of the health system’s most challenging data sharing obstacles and demonstrated a fit-for-purpose structure that allowed the enterprise to become more data-driven.