Governance of data is not only about managing metadata of enterprise data assets, it’s also about setting up a “Governance Framework” that defines business areas, data subject areas, organizations, roles and responsibilities.

In this post we provide an overview of how TopBraid EDG™ supports the management of governance.

The approach to governance management is influenced by David Plotkin’s work, as published in “Data Stewardship: An Actionable Guide to Effective Data Management and Data Governance, Morgan Kaufmann; first edition (October 10, 2013)”.

Establishing a Governance Framework

The framework is a single place for defining the context of an enterprise’s governance of assets. In TopBraid EDG this is accessed from the Viewpoint Menu:

Data Governance Selection Menu

Data Governance Selection Menu

So what makes up a Governance Framework? An example is illustrated in the figure below:

Governance Framework

Governance Framework Example

Here we see that a framework has been established with a Governance Program, a Data Governance Council, a Data Governance Executive Steering Committee, a Data Governance Office and two Business Area Data Domain Teams.

Below the framework is shown as a NeighborGram™:

Governance Framework NeighborGram

Governance Framework NeighborGram

Each organization will have assigned roles and responsibilities as illustrated for the “Data Governance Executive Steering Committee” below:

Data Governance Executive Steering Committee

Data Governance Executive Steering Committee Example

Establishing a Governance Organization

The Governance Organization varies for every organization; large enterprises needing more structure than smaller ones.

Irrespective of the size of an organization, a Governance Charter should be agreed.

A template for a Governance Charter

In the figure below the program’s data governance charter has been selected:

Data Governance Program Charter Example

Data Governance Program Charter Example

Business Areas and Data Subject Areas

A Business Area is a particular operational business unit such as Finance, Materials Management, and Customer Service. Granularity of the business areas can vary – business areas can have sub-areas; also known as Lines of Business. If an asset collection is relevant to a business area as a whole, it can be directly associated with a business area.

A Data Subject Area is used to identify a specific group of assets aligned with a business area such as Accounts Payable (a data subject area within Finance), Inventory (a data subject area within Material Management). Granularity of data subject areas can vary and data subject areas can have sub areas. The greater the depth and complexity of the data in your business, the larger the number of data subject areas you may need to define. An asset collection can be associated with a data subject area.

A Subject Area is used as a general term for referring to either a business area or a data subject area that a given asset collection is associated with. All asset collects should be associated with some subject area.

Governance Roles and Workflows

Data Governance Council and Steering Committee typically operate at a strategic, enterprise level. Governance roles that are subject area or an asset collection specific are at tactical and operational levels. For example, a CFO may act as a subject matter expert for a certain group of assets associated with Finance. Such roles are defined in the context of their scope of responsibilities. An organization may initially simply say that a role is necessary. Then, assign a specific resource (by name or, preferably, by job title) to the role.

Workflows reflect the agreed processes for governing data and/or evolving the governance framework. For use within notifications and workflows, governance roles are resolved to a specific person that plays the role for the asset in question.


This article provided an introduction to how TopBraid EDG not only has extensive model support for assets but also provides the framework for governance management.