Governance is not just for compliance anymore

Avis Budget finds enhanced data governance can be profitable.

Beefed-up regulatory and compliance obligations have spurred a greater interest in IT governance in recent years, but some companies are finding that governance also can be a valuable tool for managing data and other IT assets. Rental car agency Avis Budget recently enhanced its IT governance regime to support a large-scale customer data project and a major acquisition, reports Tony Kontzer at Baseline magazine.

The customer data initiative, which began in 2007, sought to support a new CRM project. The initiative eventually revealed that too many parties within the company had their hands in the data, which resulted in unreliable information and potential customer service problems. When data isn't adequately cleansed, it can lead to unsuitable promotional offers or unproductive marketing efforts.

To govern the customer data more effectively, Avis Budget began by establishing a governance board made up of both business and IT executives, and then assigned gatekeepers to oversee changes made to the data. At the same time, a marketing science department was formed to analyze the data and mold it into insight. With a greater emphasis on data modeling and expanded data access in the company, a closer relationship between IT and the business units has evolved, prompting greater adherence to the data controls.

The pay-off of the enhanced governance regime began to show last year when the company acquired Avis Europe. The new customer data platform smoothly assimilated data on Avis Europe's customers--which the previous system would not have been capable of.

For more:
- see Tony Kontzer's article at Baseline

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