Common Vocabulary "Trial"
  Danette McGilvray   Danette McGilvray
President and Principal
Granite Falls
  Len Silverston   Len Silverston
Universal Data Models, LLC
  Thomas Redman   Thomas Redman
Founder and President
Data Quality Solutions
  Ron Klein   Ron Klein
Global Data Governance Leader
Royal Bank of Canada
  Katherine O'Keefe   Katherine O'Keefe
Director of Training and Research
  Laura Sebastian-Coleman   Laura Sebastian-Coleman
Data Quality Lead


Wednesday, December 11, 2019
08:30 AM - 09:30 AM

Level:  Business/Strategic

The format of this session is a courtroom, where the defendant is accused of having ignored the need to establish a valid and sound “common vocabulary” in her organization. Key industry experts play the roles of court clerk, judge, prosecuting attorney, expert witness, defense attorney, and defendant. The audience is the jury. Before you vote, you must listen carefully and weigh the evidence to determine if the defendant was negligent. Join us for this creative presentation where you will:

  • Understand why a common vocabulary is so urgent and learn about the risks of not having one
  • Hear ideas for building a common vocabulary, associated challenges, and best practices
  • Be inspired to build a common vocabulary in your own organization

Danette McGilvray is President and Principal of Granite Falls Consulting, a firm that helps organizations increase their success by addressing the information quality and data governance aspects of their business efforts. Focusing on bottom-line results, Granite Falls excels in helping clients connect their business strategy to practical steps for implementation. Data quality and governance are always tied to an organization's goals, issues, and opportunities, with communication and the human aspect of work also being emphasized. An internationally respected expert, Danette is the author of "Executing Data Quality Projects: Ten Steps to Quality Data and Trusted Information"™ (Morgan Kaufmann, 2008). Her Ten Steps™ approach has been embraced as a proven method for managing data quality in any organization. A popular speaker, she has taught her courses in several countries. Her book has been translated into Chinese and is being used as a textbook in university graduate programs. Contact her at 

Len Silverston is a best-selling author, consultant, and speaker with over 30 years of experience integrating organizations’ information, systems, and people. He is a thought leader in data modeling, data management, and the human dynamics of integrating information, and is well-known for his "Universal Data Models" – reusable models that help to develop higher-quality data models in less time. He authored "The Data Model Resource Book" (volumes 1, 2, and 3), which describes hundreds of reusable data models. The volume 1 book was rated No. 12 on the Computer Literacy Best Seller List, and there are Chinese and Korean translations in the series. He is the winner of the DAMA International Professional Achievement Award for 2004 and the DAMA International Community Award for 2006. He has received the highest speaker rating for numerous DAMA events and other international conferences. Mr. Silverston's company provides consulting, training, publications, and software to enable information integration.

Dr. Thomas C. Redman, “the Data Doc,” President of Data Quality Solutions, helps start-ups and multinationals, senior executives, Chief Data Officers, and leaders buried deep in their organizations chart their courses to data-driven futures, with special emphasis on quality and analytics. Tom’s most important article is “Data’s Credibility Problem” (Harvard Business Review, December 2013). He has a Ph.D. in Statistics and two patents. 


Dr. Ron Klein plays a leading role in enabling organizations to leverage the value of information assets by providing governance, data quality, and the facilities to determine what information is available, its meaning, where it is, how it got there, and how to use the information asset. Currently, he is the Global Data Governance Leader at the Royal Bank of Canada, where he is responsible for Data Strategies and Data Governance, working with agile labs and with personnel in all regions of the Investment and Treasury group. As Global Metadata Leader for KPMG, he provided guidelines and standards for all participant firms, functions, and markets. He consults, promotes, and raises awareness regarding information sharing, reuse, and information best practices. He is an excellent communicator and has taught data modeling and data management courses through Ryerson University and speaks regularly at international industry events, DAMA functions, and metadata conferences.

Dr. Katherine O’Keefe is the Director of Training and Research at Castlebridge. Katherine has worked on a range of projects for clients in sectors as diverse as the nonprofit sector, airlines, telecommunications, transport, and education. She has worked extensively with public and private sector organizations in Ireland and elsewhere, including providing data protection support for a number of charities and providing training and advisory support in the retail electrical supply sector and in the leading water/gas supply utility in Ireland.

Katherine is on the teaching faculty of the Law Society of Ireland’s Diploma Centre and lectures on Data Protection and Governance at University College Dublin. She also leads practical workshops on Data Governance, Data Ethics, and conducting Data Protection Impact Assessments internationally. She is a contributor to Information Ethics Research at the ADAPT Centre at Trinity College Dublin, and is on the steering committee for the ADAPT Centre’s ELITE-S fellowship at Dublin City University. She has designed and developed international professional accreditation schemes for Information Management and was a contributing editor to the DAMA Data Management Book of Knowledge's second edition.

Katherine is the co-author of "Ethical Information Management: Concepts, Tools, and Methods" with Daragh O Brien. In 2016, one of her essays received a “highly commended” distinction in the IRMS Alison North New Professionals Awards, and she was awarded the DAMA International Professional Achievement Award in 2017. In 2019 she was recognized as one of the DPO 200 by the Data Protection World Forum for significant contributions to the privacy and security sectors.

Laura Sebastian-Coleman (CDMP, IQCP), Data Quality Lead at Aetna/CVS Heath, has worked on data quality in large health care analytic data warehouses since 2003. Laura has implemented data quality metrics and reporting, launched and facilitated data quality working groups, and contributed to data consumer training programs. She has led efforts to establish data standards and to manage metadata for large analytic data warehouses. DAMA Publications Officer (2015-18) and production editor for the DAMA-DMBOK2, she is also author of "Navigating the Labyrinth" (2018) and "Measuring Data Quality for Ongoing Improvement" (2013).