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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.

Start 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 four key competencies: organization, policy, security, and operations. If the assessment identifies poor performance in any of these competencies, it's 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

Time is Money

In the past, a technical data assessment could take weeks or even months – which is nearly impossible to achieve in the brief window of a valuation engagement. The online Analytics TO WIN® Data Governance Assessment is concise, intuitively simple-to-take, and geared to both business and IT leadership…not just geeks. It is like checking the data “blood pressure” of your target business.

Simple and Effective

Participants receive a link to access the online assessment where they answer 36 multiple-choice questions (typically takes 10-15 minutes). Results are available immediately upon completion. If there are multiple participants from the target, their results can be consolidated into a concise, confidential report and delivered to your inbox.

Who takes the Data Governance Assessment?

Answer: Key Data Stakeholders. Clients report that wider participation from leadership, IT, and core business units produces more accurate results and highlights discrepancies in perspectives. It also helps to achieve “buy-in” for future data governance improvement projects.

What Comes Next?

Clients often engage our team to review their assessment results. We will use the results to assemble a concise summary of issues and deliver recommendations for improvements across the four data governance competencies.

If further due diligence appears warranted, there are three optional assessments also available: “Decision-Making Style & Data-Driven Culture”, “Data Harmonization”, and “Analytics User Adoption”. These assessments are all part of the Analytics TO WIN® method, a proven approach for crafting a data management and analytics strategy. 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.

In Summary

Value creation plans can fall apart when data issues arise. It’s better to discover those issues up front. A rapid data governance assessment can identify concerning weaknesses before you invest more time. The names on the ERP, CRM, accounting, engineering, and social media marketing systems are not as important as the quality, reliability, and usability of the target’s data. You need to know.

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

Consolidated data governance assessment reports and use of the optional assessments are available via a paid engagement with our team.

——— 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, 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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