#52 Data Mesh Data Governance: Getting Out of Your Own Way – Interview w/ Sarita Bakst

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Transcript for this episode (link) provided by Starburst. See their Data Mesh Summit recordings here and their great data mesh resource center here.

Data Mesh Learning Meetup Presentation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7iazNKG8XQo

Sarita’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/saritabakst/

In this episode, Scott interviewed Sarita Bakst, Managing Director and a leader in Firm-wide Data Management at JP Morgan Chase. Sarita was previously on a Data Mesh Learning meetup and is helping lead the firm’s data mesh governance charge.

Per Sarita, historically, data governance has meant controls and gatekeeping to most people – typically getting in way of innovation. So there needs to be a focus on changing that narrative, not just through words but actions to show it’s not the case. In data mesh, you need to ensure that domains can make good decisions on governance and seek out subject matter experts when it makes sense.

Sarita covered that one of the key issues in the way governance has been done is the people making decisions – the central governance team – don’t have the real understanding of the data. When those decisions are put in the hands of the people who really know the data, but with guardrails and guidance, the fear is lifted about can we actually use this data and how. This opens up lots of new opportunities to leverage your data.

Sarita strongly recommends starting with purpose-built data products. Find a use case and build data products to serve that specific. And data products MUST be about unlocking business value. You don’t need to serve up all of a domain’s data on day one, in version one of that domain’s first data product – make it extendible and reusable so you can find additional consumers and expand over time.

Get out of your own way on data governance in data mesh. You are going to learn and your approach will evolve as you learn. It’s okay to not know everything upfront, set yourself up to not get in trouble – put the proper guardrails in place – but you won’t know everything. Think of designing your risk controls as toll-gates and make sure they aren’t bottlenecks.

Have standards (not standardization) so people don’t have to invent things from scratch. Standards for interoperability, naming, etc. – think of them as guiding principles instead of rules. Make sure domain owners know who to contact and when on governance subject matter expertise.

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All music used this episode was found on PixaBay and was created by (including slight edits by Scott Hirleman): Lesfm, MondayHopes, SergeQuadrado, ItsWatR, Lexin_Music, and/or nevesf

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