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A company’s valuation hinges on the value of its data… but how do you know if the data is any good?

How your target manages and governs its data is a key indicator of the data’s value. Here is an approach for quickly assessing your target’s data governance and data management proficiency.

Gain Insight with a Data Governance Assessment

Just as your doctor checks your vitals and two minutes later can determine if you’re healthy, need further tests, or need immediate surgery; a data governance assessment can produce clear insights into how your target achieves effective data governance across the four key competencies: organization, policy, security, and operations. If an assessment identifies poor performance in any of these competencies, it is a strong indicator that more in-depth data due diligence is required.


Data governance serves as a foundation for effective data management. Identifying weaknesses in the data governance foundation often indicates a higher probability of data management challenges, a weak data strategy, and suspect data quality. It also raises questions about the validity and accuracy of your target’s reporting and analytics.


“Unfortunately for us, the value creation plan we had for the target never got off the ground because we soon discovered their data was a complete mess.  I wish we had known that sooner.”  — KSS, Fort Worth, TX


The Inherent Value of an Automated Assessment

Technical assessments of data and operational capabilities typically take time, which is a precious commodity during an evaluation engagement. Leveraging a pre-defined, structured assessment template accelerates the process while providing rapid, reliable and valuable insights into the four data governance competencies of any company – irrespective of size. An automated assessment should be short, intuitively simple to take and geared to both business and IT leadership to truly gauge your target’s proficiency across the four data governance competencies. The Analytics TO WIN® Data Governance Assessment does just that. What’s more, it has been developed as part of an overall method for crafting a data management and analytics strategy.


Here's How it Works - the Analytics TO WIN® Data Governance Assessment in 3 simple steps:

  1. Selected participants receive an introductory email for assessment registration purposes

  2. Once registered, the participants enter the online assessment to select the most appropriate answers to 36 multiple-choice questions, which takes about 15-20 minutes

  3. A results summary screen is generated upon completion of the assessment providing immediate insight into relative strengths and weaknesses across all four data governance competencies
    (As an optional service, the assessment results from all target stakeholders can be evaluated and combined into an overall score.)


The Data Governance Assessment from Analytics TO WIN® is available at no charge and can be accessed at


Leveraging greater value from the Data Governance Assessment

Experience has shown that the potential value of the Data Governance Assessment to the client organization is enhanced by encouraging business leaders and key stakeholders across multiple disciplines to take the assessment. The assessment results will highlight any discrepancies in perspectives regarding data capabilities across the organization. They will also identify business areas where data deficiencies are recognized and understood as limiting factors to future success.


In some cases, poor target results from the Data Governance Assessment (or other assessments) will indicate that establishing a proper data management and analytics strategy is required. Conducting the entire Analytics TO WIN® method is a proven approach for crafting such a strategy in a focused, timely fashion that very well may fit into your overall valuation engagement.


In Summary

Due diligence technical teams need to look beyond the names on the ERP, CRM, accounting, engineering, and social media marketing systems. They need to understand that the quality, reliability and usability of the target’s data are essential to generate an accurate valuation and value creation plan. Sometimes it may be necessary to craft a data management and analytics strategy to determine the potential investment required to garner the desired value from your target’s data.


Even if a data management and analytics strategy isn’t required, the data governance assessment itself can serve as an effective starting point in ascertaining the quality, reliability and usability of your target’s data.



Shawn Helwig is the Managing Partner of Total View Analytics and the creator of Analytics TO WIN®. He has been helping companies use their data to solve problems for more than 25 years and has the passion, integrity, personality and expertise to help your organization make better data-driven decisions.


Additionally, the Total View Analytics team has over 30 years of experience working with Private Equity firms.

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