What Is Data Governance and Why You Do Need It

What Is Data Governance and Why You Do Need It

The importance of properly governed data cannot be overstated. In an interconnected world, the effectiveness of governance becomes profoundly more critical to operations. The danger of overlooking fundamental aspects can cascade throughout an organization.

Governance and the flow of data is not just about protecting operations. There are also profound benefits to be derived from the efforts put in. From lower costs to improving the implementation of plans, governance has an overall impact upon an organization.

Governance Fundamentals for Data

Data governance involves all the aspects in managing and securing the flow of data throughout an organization. An article in TechTarget Network looked at what goes into a well-designed program. It identified the following:

  • governance team
  • steering committee
  • data stewards

The governance team works together with the steering committee and data stewards to develop proficient standards and policies. The steering committee takes the role of the governing body. Stewards ensure compliance.

It’s also important to include other members of an organization like executives and IT staff. Data management can breakdown at any point. By keeping every affected member in the loop, an organization can be assured of timely management and more effective data governance.

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Ascertaining the Most Crucial Focus Areas

The Data Governance Institute listed the areas that companies should be most keen to focus on. This includes:

  • policies
  • standards
  • strategy
  • quality
  • privacy
  • compliance
  • security
  • integration
  • analysis
  • managerial alignment

Where an organization places its focus will depend upon its needs. It’s important to remember that the goal of governance is to support a specific agenda. Focus areas for data must align with the core agenda of an organization.

Why Effective Governance Matter

Data governance is considered to be one of the top strategic initiatives for modern business. It’s considered integral to the coming age of AI applications. As the world becomes more interconnected, so will data. Awareness of how data is handled needs to be a priority for companies and the industries in which they operate.

Dangers of Overlooking Foundational Data Structures

Forbes examined the dangers of ignoring the soundness of an organization’s governance framework. It called attention to all aspects which involve technology, policies, and people. Relevant data can have a profound impact on all areas of business. Everything from public cloud providers to AI can complicate the implementation or alteration of digital systems.

The Forbes article also highlighted a 2019 survey that found that only half of companies are fit enough to derive usable, real-time insights and ascertain their risk. A solid foundation was cited as being integral to a governance framework. Top executive leadership is critical to determining virtually all aspects of governance. This includes data management, integrity, accessibility, security, and the relationships to strategic goals.

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Governance must be observed from the support it receives and the structure upon which it is founded. The challenges in balancing all the factors that go into good governance can be complex at times. This is why planning and proper implementation are so important.

Specific Benefits of Good Governance

Dataversity examined the benefits of properly employed governance. Maybe the most alluring benefit of good governance are the associated lower costs. Companies may not see a direct impact on the bottom line. However, good governance practices clearly result in more profitable operations.

Two key activities that are often difficult for any business to master are procedural accuracy and transparency. Governance over the flow of data provides great leverage for both of these. They are assets for the leadership of an organization. Benefits can be so profound as to dramatically improve the results of new ventures as well as the scope of those that a company deems plausible to pursue.

Beyond planning, there are significant benefits to daily practices and procedures. Good data flow alongside standardization can substantially improve the core operations of an organization. This also has an effect of increasing the overall value.

Improving data quality can resolve persistent issues. Simply from improved monitoring and tracking, leadership can ascertain better ways to run daily operations. When all are taken together, the sum of the benefits is greater than the parts. Growth, regular revenue, and planning can all work together to support each other. Essentially, good governance helps an organization realize its potential.

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The limitations of many business operations come down to data. It’s what an information society runs on. Even companies that do not consider themselves part of the IT sector, or heavily dependent on information, must still contend with data. An internet driven world makes it so. Governance is the key for leveraging a new data-first world.

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