July 28, 2023

Introduction

Data governance is a vital process that helps organizations streamline their business processes, enhance compliance, and facilitate better data access and collaboration. While some may view data governance as a restrictive practice, it actually provides the freedom for businesses to grow and succeed while maintaining compliance. In this article, we will explore the concept of data governance and its benefits for businesses.

What Really is Data Governance?

Data governance is a method that introduces a data-centric approach to business operations. It aligns an organization with rules to ensure that data does not become a liability. Data governance is not a technological solution in itself, but rather a framework that supports the efficient and secure management of data assets.

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How is Data Governance Beneficial: Explained with Examples

A sound data governance strategy is crucial for organizations to derive value from their data and avoid making decisions based on incorrect or incomplete information. Let’s explore two examples to understand the benefits of data governance:

Example 1: Customer List Management

In the absence of data governance, organizations may face data inconsistencies, making it challenging to manage customer information accurately. This hampers business intelligence and limits business opportunities.

Example 2: Compliance

Data governance ensures compliance with privacy and regulatory laws. Without a proper data governance framework, organizations cannot verify the existence or accuracy of specific individual information, potentially leading to non-compliance and heavy fines.

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How does Data Governance Help Streamline an Organization?

Data governance offers several benefits that enhance various aspects of an organization:

  • An effective data management plan ensures the efficient utilization of data assets, reducing costs and facilitating better decision-making.
  • Proper management and utilization of customer data improve business opportunities and customer engagement.
  • Data governance simplifies supply chain processes, reducing costs and improving efficiency.
  • Compliance with internal and external policies ensures legal and regulatory requirements are met.
  • Data governance helps streamline business finances, improving financial management and reporting.

What are the Goals of Data Governance?

The goals of data governance vary based on the organization and its market. However, some common goals of data governance include:

  • Driving data-driven business decisions to enhance the organization’s data maturity.
  • Eliminating redundancy and data inconsistencies that lead to inaccurate insights.
  • Understanding the applicability and utilization of data assets.
  • Establishing policies to meet regulatory compliance.
  • Building trust in the organization’s data assets.
  • Ensuring data security and preventing misuse.
  • Reducing the time required for data assimilation and reporting.
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3 Major Principles of Data Governance

Data governance is based on three essential principles:

Transparency

Data transparency involves understanding where data assets reside, how they are used, and their impact on privacy and security. Transparency is crucial in an increasingly scrutinized business environment.

Accountability

Organizations need to establish accountability for handling data assets. This involves assigning roles, regulating data access, and documenting data usage to ensure responsible and compliant data management.

Engagement

Data governance is effective when all users adopt the principles and practices. Organizations must engage stakeholders, demonstrate the benefits of data governance, and provide training and education to build user understanding and adoption.

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How to Build a Data Governance Network

To build an effective data governance framework, organizations should follow these steps:

1. Define Objectives and Metrics

Develop a clear mission statement and key performance indicators (KPIs) to track progress and align efforts with future objectives.

2. Establish Rules, Policies, and Procedures

Create a comprehensive framework that includes data governance terms, rules, policies, and procedures. Develop a business glossary and inventory of data assets to ensure clarity and consistency.

3. Establish Accountability

Create an accountability system throughout the data lifecycle to ensure individuals are responsible for their roles and decisions regarding data assets.

4. Choose the Right Technology Platform

Select a technology platform that aligns with the organization’s vision and supports data governance practices. The platform should facilitate data integration, policy implementation, and business glossary management.

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Healthy Data Governance Practices

Data governance does not have to be complicated or limited to a few individuals. Organizations should adopt healthy data governance practices to make data assets safer and easily accessible. Some recommended practices include:

Tracking and Managing Data with Data Catalogue

Create a data catalogue to track, manage, and review data assets. Enrich data assets with metadata, distribute data across databases, and auto-create data management quality profiles.

Generate Business Glossary

Create a business glossary to standardize terminology and govern metadata. This helps provide the relevant data to the right users and control data access and usage.

Record Data Lineage and Impact Analysis

Track data lineage to understand the movement and changes in data assets over time. This helps identify data sources, behaviors, and their impact across the organization.

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Set Up Data Access Policies

Establish data access policies to ensure data control throughout the organization. Grant and regulate data access, assign policies at the user level, and limit access to data based on job responsibilities.

In a Nutshell

Data governance is essential for organizations to make informed business decisions and ensure the security of their data. Implementing a robust data governance framework helps organizations reduce costs, comply with regulations, and maximize the potential of their data. By adopting healthy data governance practices, organizations can unlock the full value of their data assets and thrive in today’s competitive business environment.

FAQ

What are some of the best data integration tools available?

Some of the best data governance tools available are IRI Voracity, Oracle, SAP, Improvado, Talend, and Informatica.

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What is data lineage?

Data lineage is an aspect of a data governance framework that tracks the movement of data assets throughout their lifecycle.

Why does data governance matter?

Data governance is crucial because it ensures that businesses can make critical decisions backed by accurate and secure data. It facilitates growth and compliance with internal and external regulations.

What is the impact of poor data governance?

Poor data governance can lead to missed business opportunities, higher operating costs, and inaccurate decision-making.

Is data quality the same as data governance?

Data governance focuses on data quality, but data quality is part of a broader data management strategy.

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Embrace data governance to unleash the full potential of your organization’s data assets and ensure long-term success.

 

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