Understanding Data Governance and Who Should Own It

Introduction

Data governance is the foundation for managing data efficiently and making the organization’s data reliable and trustworthy. The tenets of data governance are to establish methods, layout clear responsibilities and develop robust processes to standardize, protect and store data. The aim of data governance is to:

  • Minimize risks of data inconsistency and breach
  • Institute regulations on how data is to be used
  • Implement compliance regulations
  • Add value to existing and future data
  • Reduce costs that might incur due to bad data
  • Protect data

Data Governance effectively lays down the guidelines for collecting, refurbishing and building data to meet the standards of the organization. It also ensures that critical data of the organization is available in a standardized and reliable form. The following figure shows the various aspects of data governance.

Importance of Data Governance in Business

Data has become the oil for most organizations today. Hence, it is of grave importance that the right data is being used to derive insights from. This is one of the primary reasons why every enterprise must have effective data governance. Additionally, as organizations possess data – both their own as well as their client’s, it becomes imperative to protect the sensitive information from misuse or fraud. This is another reason why enterprises must make data governance a core function. Following are some of the key areas where data governance plays a crucial role:

Ease of transacting data – Data governance tools and resources are very useful in organizing data to ease the process of locating useful information for sharing files.

Securing data – Misuse of data can get organizations embroiled in serious legal issues. Data governance tools provide security from breaches within the organization or from external agencies.

Reliability for data analytics – Analyzing data is an indispensable activity in an organization to understand their own business and in understanding the customers. Analysis of poor quality data results in ineffective decisions. The data generated in an organization keeps on growing exponentially and it is important to analyze and organize data for reliability. Data governance lays down guidelines to consistently produce credible data.

Creating a backup of data– Having all the critical data backed up is an important contingency that organizations have. Data governance makes the process of storage and backup of data efficient.

Reusing Data – Several documents in a company undergo revisions. It is essential to maintain all the versions of the document despite the changes. Let us suppose a company keeps on revising its internal processes as a part of its improvement drive. Several documents related to these processes undergo changes and are maintained in different versions. Data governance provides a data management framework that makes sharing and reusing these files efficient and notifies other members about the changes made.

Benefits of data governance

Cost and Time Efficiency

Often, the biggest hurdle for enterprises adopting a data-driven culture is having to efficiently process large amounts of data without having to spend a fortune on it. In such a scenario, having to deal with faulty or inconsistent data is sure to unnecessary run-up the cost of data projects. Instead, having a governance model in place ensures that only the most accurate and relevant data is being used to drive data initiatives. This improves the overall efficiency of the process, reduces errors, and gives your business a solid data set to work with. Additionally, data governance forces a business to clearly define its core data, and the rules governing that core data. The inception of data governance is a step towards creating awareness about data definitions and standardization. The enforcement of this ensures greater operational efficiency over time.

Mitigating Risks

Lack of effective data governance is a security concern. Bad quality data, and badly structured data pose a security risk as having unstructured data clogging the database makes it difficult to assess situations where there has been a breach of security. Good data governance tools and practices make it easier to monitor what is happening across your database, and will make it easier to see what areas may be at risk.. As people continue to understand the importance of their personal data, governments are beginning to take ways in which companies store, protect, and use their customer’s data extremely seriously.

A Quality-Driven Culture

Assurance of having reliable data is of prime importance to a business. Effective data governance provides assurance that the data is clean, standardized, and accurate. The effects of this reverberate throughout a company and bring about a quality-driven attitude to all data projects in the organization.

The Ownership of Data Governance

When it comes to data governance, it is not a one-person job. It takes several departments to work together in order to effectively manage and govern data. Most companies also have a Chief Data Officer who is responsible for the utilization and governance of data across the organization. One of the most important factors with data governance is the alignment of all teams and business users that are in charge of collecting, governing, and consuming the data. Ensure that everyone is on board and that there are clear goals, clearly defined processes, and clear permission levels to make everything run smoothly.

In a survey conducted by BI survey, it’s found that in 60% of organizations, the finance  department plays a prominent role in data governance and management

Ensuring the Success of Data Governance in your Organization

Data Governance must be viewed as an enterprise effort – you may implement it in segments, but it must always and necessarily have an enterprise perspective. For that, first, a governance body must be established which creates the necessary strategy and policy for the organization. This is not a one-time exercise, but an ongoing effort that requires monitoring and maintenance. Continual monitoring, maintenance, and review of the data are crucial and important. The success of any Data Governance program can be obtained through effective communication amongst IT, Business Units and data stakeholders. Other success factors include sufficient documentation and communication of changes, issues, and tasks in a streamlined, pre-defined communication plan.

A secure, high-performing Data Governance program will assist any organization to leverage its genuine business-worthy data with the help of appropriate technology solutions. The end objective of any Data Governance program is to enable organizations to effectively react to challenges and opportunities posed by the market, by adopting the “Data First” philosophy.

Acuvate’s Master data governance solution helps in verifying, validating, monitoring consistent and accurate data. If you need help in establishing a powerful data governance strategy in your organization, please feel free to get in touch with our consultants.

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