Fully leveraging patient-related data

A step-by-step process that involves end-users to achieve long-term success


Govern patient-related business terms to create a shared language for end-users

When employees use business terms daily without thoroughly understanding their meaning, it’s hard for them to interpret the related business dashboards and reports. Especially in industries with a complex business vocabulary, such as the pharmaceutical industry, a lack of common understanding undermines employees' confidence in using dashboards and reports to answer business questions.

Therefore, one of our pharmaceutical clients asked us to help build, within one of their business entities, a Proof of Concept for governing a patient-related business term and its related KPIs. Employees found exchanging knowledge on this business term difficult and didn't know whom to contact for clear and intelligible information. In addition, onboarding new employees proved extremely hard since documents were stored all over the organization. The lack of a shared language clearly stood in the way of fully leveraging the data related to this patient-related business term.


A step-by-step process that involves end-users to achieve long-term success

Since our client was already using Collibra as a centralized metadata management tool, our Data Governance experts didn’t have to start from scratch. To accommodate the different Data Governance needs of individual business entities, our client had set up a federated operating model. With that operating model, each business entity has its local enablement team that prioritizes and implements specific use cases in Collibra. Our Datashift Data Governance experts were part of the local enablement team in charge of governing the patient-related business term.

Together with the other team members, we started listing end-users’ pain points and compiled a set of requirements for the Proof of Concept to be built with Collibra. An already existing Data Governance blueprint ensured that Roles and Responsibilities regarding this Proof of Concept were clear from the very start. As a result, end-users were well aware of the role they soon had to take up within Collibra, whether a Business Owner or a Business Steward of documented data assets.

It’s interesting to mention that those end-users were not only interested in documenting the meaning of the patient-related business term. They also wanted to know how KPIs were calculated in several reports across the entire organization. Within a federated operating model, one business term may have a different definition from one business entity to the next.

From the existing set of requirements, we set out on a step-by-step process to build the Proof of Concept:

  • We started by creating a meta-model, a visual representation of all Collibra building blocks that establish the Data Governance backbone. The setup of this meta-model is key to solving the pain points that were listed together with end-users.
  • Next, we determined all governance lifecycles for the patient-specific business term and the related business rules that needed governing. Then, with the entire team, we decided who would maintain which specific pieces of documentation on the business term in Collibra. In other words, we specified which Business Owners were accountable and which Business Stewards were responsible for particular information managed in Collibra.
  • Finally, we developed several workflows that enable end-users to maintain the information directly in Collibra.

After each step, we consulted with all relevant stakeholders, including management, business analysts and end-users, to ensure we kept heading in the right direction. We know from experience that it is not enough to tell them about the benefits of Data Governance. Education and training are a crucial part of the entire process. We therefore completed this project by importing the first example into Collibra (to demonstrate and validate our Proof of Concept) and organizing extensive training for all end-users.


Gradually increased end-users confidence in reports and dashboards through common understanding of business terms

The Proof of Concept for governing a patient-related business term and its related KPIs demonstrated the power of Data Governance through Collibra. Within this specific business entity, end-users now felt that a common understanding of this business term gave them the support they needed to confidently answer business questions through the related dashboards and reports.

Adopting this Data Governance Proof of Concept wouldn't have been possible without engaging all relevant stakeholders throughout the process. Their deep appreciation for our step-by-step approach to achieving impact together has since then materialized into even closer collaboration, as Datashift was suggested to our client’s higher management as the preferred Collibra partner. Ultimately, this Data Governance Proof of Concept kicked off a cooperation driven by use cases (such as the resolution of data issues through a Collibra workflow, to give but one example), aimed at making meaningful and reliable data available to the broadest possible audience.

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