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What is a Data Governance Charter & Why Should I Care?

Updated: Aug 30, 2023

The mission of a Credit Union data governance program is to give a formal structure to its data. It also manages data access, quality, and security throughout its life cycle. Data Governance is foundational to any Credit Union data efforts. It is so essential, that it is well on its way to becoming an audit item. Unfortunately, VERY FEW Credit Unions have formalized programs.

Why is this the case?

Because the best practice effort is to create a Data Governance Charter, today, we will unpack the elements of this document.

A Data Governance Charter is the formal structure to establish the general expectations for implementing Data Governance.

The standard components of this formative document are:

- DG Charter Overview, vision, and mission

- Defining guiding principles and objectives

- Success measures and structures

Let's take a moment to define a few of these terms further.

Vision Statement:

The vision statement describes what the organization aspires to accomplish with its Data Governance program.

Mission Statement:

The mission statement defines the organization's business and objectives and how it will reach them.

Project Guiding Principles:

These simple rules or value statements help project teams make decisions when they are faced with a choice or when disagreements arise.

Project Objectives:

It states the aim of a project. It tells us what the project team wants to accomplish.

Project Success Measures:

The project success metrics are the metrics to measure the program's progress.

Composition of Date Governance working groups:

The groups/committees generally responsible for creating and approving the data governance program


  • Executive Sponsor

  • Council

  • SME (subject matter expert)

  • Data Custodians

  • Data Users


An action plan is a definitive checklist of tasks and resources needed for the Data Governance program to achieve its goal.

What obstacles keep credit unions from creating Data Governance programs?

  • Not having a formal program

  • Lack of leadership

  • It's only data, so it doesn't need to be governed

What are Data Governance program Best Practices?

  • Start with the strategy first

  • Determine the benefits and success metrics

  • Develop member-centric use cases

  • Gain organizational support

To learn more about the fundamentals of a Data Governance Program, please read "Putting Some "ahh" into Datahh Governance."


Looking for more

Data Governance Goodness?

We are offering LAUNCHABLE Data Governance on Tuesday, October 3, 2023, from 9 am PST/ Noon pm EST - Noon pm PST/ 3 pm pm EST.

Yes, launchable is a word :) And it describes what needs to happen to your data governance program in 2023! THRIVE will give you the knowledge and framework (aka ppt deck) you need to launch this effort in JUST three hours!

You won't want to miss this virtual Data Governance Deep Dive workshop!


Data Strategy

Case Study:

First City Credit Union

Learn how First City Credit Union partnered with THRIVE to help them identify their gaps in existing data efforts, gain clarity on member needs and wants, and build a multi-year roadmap for data success.


We believe that data transformation doesn't have to feel overwhelming or expensive to be impactful. After helping over 600 credit union leaders launch their data journeys, we have identified several consistent knowledge gaps. We have worked hard to fill these gaps with a variety of educational artifacts:

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