McLean & Company publishes Establish Data Governance for HR


A new blueprint from the global HR research and advisory firm highlights that in the future of work, developing data governance practices helps ensure information collected is high quality and builds a solid foundation on which HR can create an evidence-driven culture that will help teams succeed in evolving landscapes. As organizations increasingly rely on HR to provide data-backed guidance when making business decisions, McLean & Company has published a new blueprint, Establish Data Governance for HR, to help teams navigate new expectations. The firm’s research will support HR professionals in using a phased approach to implement solutions that address short-term and long-term data governance needs.

“As the data landscape changes at a rapid pace, data governance practices are no longer optional,” says Janet Clarey, principal director of HR Research & Advisory Services at McLean & Company. “The volume of sensitive people data collected by organizations is continually increasing, so a lack of data governance practices increases the risk of HR making inaccurate people decisions based on untrustworthy data. Starting the organization’s data-driven HR journey with a clear and effective data governance framework is critical.”

The new resource explains that a poor foundation will carry inaccuracies and inefficiencies into all data, metrics, and analytics projects, further emphasizing the need for a strong and structured data governance framework for HR.

To establish data governance practices that meet the needs of the organization, its people, and the ever-changing data climate, McLean & Company advises a two-phase approach for HR leaders in its blueprint. The high-level approach is outlined below:

  1. Phase one: Address urgent data governance needs. The first phase of the approach focuses on the data governance components HR can address in the short term through people, process, and technology solutions.

    Outcomes from phase one include defining the need for HR data governance, creating a data inventory, identifying pain points, selecting solutions, and creating a plan to address identified pain points, and establishing metrics to monitor results.

  2. Phase two: Establish a formal data governance framework. The second phase prioritizes establishing formal components that will support a proactive and strategic approach to data governance in the long-term.

    Takeaways from phase two include documenting existing data governance components, outlining goals and metrics, creating ethical guidelines, drafting policy statements, and documenting the framework.

In addition to the two-phase approach, the HR research and advisory firm’s new blueprint advocates that HR teams prioritize the most critical data to help avoid a project too large in scope and to establish an overarching data governance framework for all people data. Ensuring goals are appropriately sized and attainable ensures the delivery of the most value possible.

McLean & Company also advises that without collaboration, HR risks duplication and misalignment of data governance practices with other areas of the organization. Partnering with key organizational leaders will help improve consistency and enable connections between data governance solutions and various other needs so that HR can fulfill its role of preparing the organization to succeed in the future of work.

In addition to industry resources, McLean & Company also offers workshops to HR professionals to support them in program building and navigating other nuances of their roles.

Media interested in connecting with McLean & Company analysts for exclusive, research-backed insights and commentary on generative AI in HR, the future of work, and more can contact Senior Communications Manager Kelsey King at

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