Anne Buff

Anne Buff is the director of data governance for Envolve Healthcare ( She has been a specialist in the world of data for over 20 years and is an industry leader in data governance. Over the years, she has developed courseware on data management, master data management, and data governance and served as an executive consultant on data strategy, data monetization, and developing strong data organizations. She has also served on the board of directors for the Data Governance Professionals Organization.

Buff is passionate about sharing her love for data. Her energy, excitement and enthusiasm for all things data will grab you in ways you never expected, leaving you refreshed and ready to take on your toughest of data issues. Her mission is to help you find your love for data because (as she says) it will love you back.

Articles by Anne Buff

It might be the most frequently asked question of a data governance consultant: "Who should own data governance, the business or IT?" And man, that's a loaded question! When you dig deeper into the root of the question, most people really want to know one of two things—"Who should ultimately own data decision making for our company?" or, "Where will data governance be most successful?" Let's take a closer look at those two questions.

Posted September 26, 2019

Keep your eye on the ball! Good eye! Way to watch! Baseball season is in full swing (pun maybe intended) and, with three sons, I have begun to hear these phrases in my sleep. Enough so that it sent me down a rabbit hole of curiosity. I began looking for the origin of the phrase "Keep your eye on the ball." Turns out, there is an interesting parallel with data governance.

Posted May 16, 2019

Your mileage may vary, but there is an allegorical household phenomenon that provides some lessons in understanding the data lake—the coffee can that often ends up in the garage or tool space of a home to collect all the stray, old-project hardware someone in the household cannot bear to part with.

Posted April 02, 2019

Steering Your Data Ship with Data Governance

Posted January 09, 2019

This past summer, I had the opportunity to stay in a wide variety of hospitality establishments for both personal and professional travel, which, for me, has generated another fun way to look at data governance that I am excited to share. Because, let's face it, without good analogies, data governance on its own can be, well, kind of dry. Welcome to the Hotel Data Governance. Such a lovely place. (The tune is already in your head isn't it? You're welcome.)

Posted September 26, 2018

Aside from data, "governance" is the most used term in data governance. Duh! It's in the name, right? But not only is it the most used, it is also the most misused and misinterpreted. The general perception of the term "governance" generates a widespread misunderstanding of the purpose of data governance. With excitement and fear rapidly growing around the use of data in businesses across all industries, data governance is becoming a hotter-than-hot topic! But, as with many corporate buzzwords, the more viral the term and concepts of data governance become, the more inappropriately used and abused they are.

Posted May 11, 2018

You are one of the few and the brave—you have not only established a successful data governance program, you have done so and lived to tell the tale. But, while your brow is still wet and your sleeves are rolled up, your program could be crumbling and you might not even see the warning signs.

Posted March 27, 2018

Emerging technologies are outpacing data governance at a rapid clip. Specifically, the rate of growth and development of emerging technologies in areas such as artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), and machine learning (ML) drastically exceeds the current speed and willingness of businesses to change their governance models to manage and protect their data and information assets. Unfortunately, the larger the delta becomes between the advancements in technology and the changes in governance, the greater the risks and losses for the business.

Posted January 09, 2018

Businesses of all sizes across all industries are rapidly adopting digital transformation models that put data at the center of driving the business forward—as they should. However, putting data at the center of everything the business does can be risky without proper planning and rigorous management. Many companies have been wise to introduce data governance programs to protect corporate data assets and establish a framework for operational excellence when it comes to data management and use. Data governance emphasizes the enforcement of defined standards or policies and provides mechanisms for consistency and repeatable processes, but it is not enough to protect businesses in today's world of data.

Posted September 20, 2017

You will often hear experienced practitioners and consultants suggest that there is both an art and a science to effective data governance. The art is in the details of fine-tuning a data governance program to fit your culture and address specific business needs. But the fundamental principles of data governance are best understood and executed through science.

Posted May 15, 2017

Governing and managing big data are not easy tasks. In fact, let's be honest—data management and governance for data of any size is no walk in the park. But, big data makes it even tougher. From integrating the disparate data sources of seemingly unending variety to curating the chaos in the heaps of unstructured data, managing the craziness we lovingly refer to as big data is not for the faint of heart. Even for those tough as nails, the challenges of big data management can be more than frustrating. So, now that you know you are not alone in dealing with this insanity, here are a few ways to make the frustrations of big data a little less intense.

Posted April 07, 2017

The focus of data governance should not be on creating bureaucracy and rules, but instead on business enablement within context of use. To do this, I suggest looking at data governance not as enforcement of a discipline, but instead as a process of guiding a data expedition. Let's look at what a data expedition entails and how data governance will be the guide of this ongoing journey.

Posted October 13, 2016

Embarking on a Data Expedition for Data Governance

Posted June 09, 2016

One of the most common challenges organizations face when developing an enterprise data governance program is the presence of data silos or pockets of data initiatives scattered throughout the company with little to no association or collaboration of efforts. While many describe their data systems as "siloed," the disjunction is less about the underlying technology and far more about the division created between lines of business.

Posted March 25, 2016