Gaining Adoption with Democratization at Eli Lilly

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

Senior Director, Product Marketing: Data Quality and Governance

If you’ve been following our Data Empowerment Experts series this year, you’ll know that we have been outlining some of the challenges with turning data into insights that can be used throughout an organization to deliver business value. While there are certainly a lot of hurdles to overcome, one of the biggest challenges is getting buy-in from your data community. The level of business adoption that you’ll need to go from siloed success to enterprise-wide excellence is not trivial. If you want to ensure that trusted data fuels every significant decision, you’ll need focused participation from sponsors, data owners, LOB leaders, data consumers, and technical experts.

This month’s Data Empowerment Experts series webinar features the data governance team from Eli Lilly and Company. What Lilly showed us is that if you focus deeply into two areas of governance— knowing where your data is and making sure people can understand it—you’ll scale and deliver value through empowerment. As I do with every expert in this series, I sat down with our speakers, Dana Mitchell, Eli Lilly’s Commercial Data Governance Lead, and Steve Patterson, the Service Delivery Manager and Architect for Eli Lilly, to get their advice on some of today’s data governance challenges.

Question: How do you choose where to start?

Answer: We initially had a functional area that really needed a place to store their definition and link them to their physical assets (table, columns). This was able to show value to other areas and we used some of Informatica’s legacy tools to begin the journey.

However, we really struggled with scale in the beginning stages. We then brought in EDC and Axon Data Governance to expand into other areas.  We began letting our users decide where to start.  What capabilities they wanted to use of the many capabilities of the two catalogs. To simplify further, we came up with a maturity model for both products to help guide the business community. The maturity model broke the journey down into steps of the capabilities. For example, in EDC: Metadata at rest, Data Lineage, Data Profiling, Data Discovery, Business Metadata, and in Axon Data Governance by Facets: System/Interface, Data Sets/Attributes, Glossary, Compliance (Policies and Procedures) etc.

Question: How do you maintain momentum?

Answer: In the early stages of our Data Governance Maturity and Information Catalog initiative we developed a data governance and information catalog engagement community.

This forum was an organizational change management medium where the project team could:

  • Manage our messaging around Data Governance and the Information Catalog Service
  • Enable a standardized approach for delivering demo’s
  • Deliver Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQs” around the Information Catalog Project work and Operational Governance)
  • Ensure alignment between BU and EI&P for engaging other interested business areas
  • Provide the appropriate level of engagement with these business areas for work being done in the Information Catalog Project
  • Vetting of questions that are outliers from “FAQs”
  • Provide access to a centralize collaborations site

The audience for the forum was business areas that are interested in adopting the Information Catalog Service within their functions and want to understand the process for implementing the Enterprise Service from a holistic perspective. This audience also has a strong desire for Commercial and Manufacturing business units to share their Information Catalog journey, processes and lessons learned.

The participants of the forum were the Enterprise, Commercial and Manufacturing Information Catalog Project Working Team.

We continue to evangelize the value of Data Governance maturity and how the Information Catalog tools help facilitate the democratization of data and maturing of our DG framework.

We employed various marketing techniques to advertise the purpose, goal and value of the Information Catalog. For example: We created and conducted a “Scavenger Hunt”. The objective was that end users received a list of questions in which they would search Axon Data Governance to find the answers. Participants that completed the scavenger hunt and submitted their answers received points from our company’s reward program as incentive.

We hold a series of training and informational sessions throughout the year. And finally, we request leadership (managers and directors) to promote the use of the Information Catalog service in townhall meetings and other forums.

Question: How do you address scale?

Answer: We decided on not doing the big bang methodology. We thought this would take too much time to show value with the effort involved. We are more an ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) service of attraction vs. mandate. However, we are attached to our larger project of modernizing, centralizing, and democratizing our IT capabilities and data utilizing cloud native technologies and services. This includes having a Data Marketplace to break down our silos of data governance. This adoption includes cataloging the data in EDC and governing it in Axon Data Governance to include creating a “Data Product” in Axon that gets surfaced to the Data Marketplace. To address scale, we balance it with this in mind:

  1. EDC – 100% of our data is catalogued with the smallest portion of Users such as IT and IT savvy business users.
  2. Axon – 40% of our data is catalogued that is important to the business with more users having access. IT, plus business users that govern and are data focused.
  3. Data Marketplace – 10% of our data that is curated in Axon for sharing across the Enterprise with access to all of the Enterprise.

Question: How do you measure success?

Answer: We are measuring various end user and content metrics. Within the commercial business unit, we are measuring:

  • Content population within both Axon and EDC
    • For example, within Axon we set targets and perform an analysis on the number of data sets we have ingested to the catalog over say a 3-month period
  • We also measure the maturity of the content within the data sets (attributes, impact connections—policies, external sources etc.—and logical data lineage)
  • We are looking to capture end user metrics so we may understand who and how often users are utilizing the catalog thru surveys
  • Within EDC, we have a Commercial ingestion roadmap we are utilizing as a means to track the progress for the ingestion of applications.

Business and IT continue to partner, working together on a regular cadence to provide readouts on how various business initiatives are achieving value using the maturing governance program and tools. We also provide sample scenarios, demos and metrics around the enrichment of content and usage of both Axon and EDC. We continue to cultivate the key partnerships with the functional Data Domain Owners and IT Custodians.

Question: How has data privacy been a factor?

Answer: Data privacy is of the utmost importance to the enterprise. Our Info Sec and Privacy Office definitely see a huge value of being able to catalog, and discover, where our privacy data exists so we can go above and beyond protecting this sensitive data. We are working with these functional areas to leverage the catalog capabilities. Our first step was to create a model in Axon Data Governance that matches the categories and classifications set forth in the policies from these areas. We are now in the ‘process creation phase’ for the execution of tagging these starting with the current “Application/System” levels, then utilizing the catalog to be more granular to the data object and attribute level.

Question: How do you empower the business to drive value?

Answer: The primary method to ensure the program delivers trusted data is to facilitate data ownership accountability through the use of the information catalog.

We have created additional auditing processes and transitioned the management of data governance over to Axon Data Governance. We are leveraging EDC to capture the physical representation of the database systems and transitioning management of critical activities such as impact analysis, ETL, and data structure change control over to EDC and Axon.

Through the use of EDC and Axon, we are able to also create business and quality rules which allow the data domain owners, stewards, and custodians to manage the data governance, data structure, and data flows in a centralized location.

Learn More on the Next Webinar

Often, the biggest impediment to success is simply scale—scale not only in the amount of data that should be governed, but also scale in the number of data consumers who need access to be effective at their jobs. The people in your data supply chain need access to information, and they need to trust the data so that they can make informed, data-driven decisions. Join us for our next exciting episode in the Data Empowerment Experts series to explore further with the team at Eli Lilly on their journey to delivering trusted data.

First Published: Oct 12, 2020