For Charter Communications, Data Privacy Compliance Provides a Data Governance Opportunity

Last Published: Aug 05, 2021 |
Thomas Brence
Thomas Brence

Senior Director, Product Marketing: Data Quality and Governance

Creating data governance objectives globally

In our organizations, much like in life itself, there are activities that you have to do and activities that you want to do. Weighing the pros and cons of prioritizing one over the other can often be a difficult balance. Thankfully, there are instances where the two sides can work together. And this is the case with the widespread and global rise in data privacy regulations over the last five years. With the GDPR, and even more recently with CCPA, data privacy is no longer an area that can be ignored or given a lower priority. For today’s data leaders, privacy is now squarely in the “activities you have to do” side of the scale. The steps that you need to take to be in compliance with these regulations, however, provides an amazing opportunity for your data governance objectives. 

The framework that is often required for compliance can be the same framework that provides longtail benefits for your overall data governance program. Whether it’s reducing storage costs or the elimination of redundant processes and functions, the team at Charter Communications has applied common principles to experience widespread benefits. In this month’s Data Empowerment Experts webinar, I’ll be joined by Jonathan L. Andrews, Senior Director, IT Information Governance for Charter Communications to share their story. As with each episode, I met with Jonathan in advance to ask him a few questions related to his experience and their data governance program:  

Question: What’s your background and how did you get into the world of governance? 

Answer: Engineer by training, consultant by practice. 30+ years across a variety of industry verticals in defining, designing, and delivering business solution systems led me to realize that most companies effectively have the same problem—different content and scale, but the underlying fundamentals are basically the same: proliferation of data and access to the right information, of sufficient quality, to make decisions. I’ve made a living on the consulting side of the desk advocating the needs and benefits of a strong, governed data-to-information strategy and lifecycle; Charter has given me the opportunity to practice what I’ve been preaching.   

Question: Who are the best advocates for data at your organization? 

Answer: Charter has several strong data management organizations:  Engineering Data Science and Analytics is responsible for management of the most granular real-time data—the individual packets that flow across the customer-facing network. Intra-day functions and customer transactional data are the purview of the IT function, and our Business Intelligence function is widely recognized within the organization as the go-to for key data and established metrics. All three groups share a common governance goal and we’re consistently working toward improving the consistency of the implementation and efficacy of governance across the groups. 

Question: How can you help to improve data literacy? 

Answer: We view it as the mission of my Information Governance team to maximize the value of data and consumable information provided to the enterprise by continually enhancing the ability to define, understand, and steward Charter’s data and information through a combination of direct action and partnerships between the business and IT, leveraging a common framework that exposes consumable information in the clearest possible manner, optimized for specific consumption patterns where applicable. Through this approach, we believe we can reduce the time to “wrangle” data for specific solutions by exposing similar solutions that have already been implemented and clearly documenting the elements of a data set so that the consumer can validate this data is the “right” data to be used to answer the questions being asked. 

Question: What parts of your business benefit most from having trusted data?  

Answer: All of it. From time to market on new analyses and data-driven decisions to reducing the time to collect, massage, and prepare data for executive reporting and analytics, to exposing accurate and consistent information through application services—all aspects of the business benefit from better access to consistent, managed information. 

Question: How have you helped to build a data culture? 

Answer: I’m nothing if not a strong voice for data governance and strategy. In my position, I’ve been afforded a seat at the table in helping to define Charter’s larger data strategy and effect change in the existing standards, procedures, and practices used to obtain and consume data. Through the larger efforts in defining and implementing the broader strategy, we will be able to bring “positive disruption” to the established data culture. 

Please join us on February 25th as we navigate the Charter Communications data governance and privacy journey. Jonathan will take us through the history of today’s leading regulations and showcase how the work you perform to be in compliance can be applied universally to ensure trust in all of your data. Register to attend today.  

First Published: Feb 11, 2021