Data governance is a system of processes where data assets are formally managed across an enterprise. Put simply, it is the way that businesses govern their data. An enterprises’ data landscape can be seen as a diverse ecosystem with different kinds of data assets. Many of these contain important information that, when utilized, provides value to your organization. However, especially with regulations tightening worldwide, failure to remain compliant can result in large fines for organizations. Today, organizations experience huge volumes of data and the data types are variable. Without data governance in place, the enterprise will be in data anarchy.
Data governance is critical for two reasons:
To prevent organizations from suffering losses by enforcing data security; and
To enable organizations to extract value by implementing an internal system that allows for the information held within data assets to be utilized.
A Brief History of Data Governance
Data Governance was once a function of IT that was deployed only for data cataloging and was rarely utilized by the business. In 2018, with the introduction of strict regulations such as the GDPR in conjunction with several large-scale data breaches. Due to the consequential reputational damage and market value decline, many companies were suddenly scrambling to find a data governance solution. The world of business then recognized the absolute importance of implementing data governance, especially with heavily increasing data demands and regulatory scrutiny.
Benefits of Data Governance
Data governance should not be viewed as a set of restrictions or an annoyance necessary to avoid large fines. Instead it should be seen as an opportunity for organizations to soar to new heights by leveraging data advantageously. The degree to which a business benefits from data governance depends on how they approach the practice.
Improved Data Quality
Data governance acts to not only control the data that exists within an organization, but also enhance it. Policies and procedures are implemented to better data assets in the dimensions by which data quality is measured: accuracy, completeness, consistency, timeliness, validity and uniqueness. Data governance platforms are game-changers in improving data quality by implementing a system of ownership. Data assets have data owners who are the point of reference for questions and actions regarding the data. Therefore, the data asset will be upgraded as the data owner’s accountability for it will raise it by all data quality metrics.
Better Business Decisions
Business leaders are equipped with more and better data assets, which provides them with more information to make better decisions. Greater and diverse data allows one to make decisions with perspectives that they would not have had before, such as specific customer preferences or the degree of business outcome successes. With top-of-the-line data governance tools, impact analysis can also be performed where the consequences of business decisions can be predicted with computer algorithms.
Numerous worldwide data regulations worldwide add to a complicated challenge for businesses to remain compliant whilst working with an extremely large volume of data. Thus, organizations need a system in place that enables company members to remain compliant without restricting their productivity and efficiency. Organizations need to establish robust data governance practices that avoids risk and proactively anticipates sensitive data. The tried and true way that businesses achieve this is through implementing policy controls over data assets. Sensitive data assets are assigned restrictions upon them, meaning they can only be used in certain ways by users with the authority to do so.
Data democratization is the process of enabling everyone within the organization to access, understand and utilize data; regardless of their technical ability. One way this is realized by businesses is by creating a shared business language to be established, removing ambiguities and unifying each of the organization’s departments. Modern data governance technology facilitates data democratization through providing a process that allows users to access information using any of the major cloud platforms. Essentially, data governance removes barriers for users to use their organization’s data.
Ultimately, data governance performs many of the processes that are absolutely crucial to the functionality of a business. Some basic examples include eliminating high consulting costs, removing the need to perform audits of your data landscape and automating functions that would otherwise need a dedicated role towards it such as data cataloging. Put simply, data governance reduces costs by maintaining regulatory compliance and making the business run more smoothly and efficiently.
Data Governance is Critical
For modern businesses, data governance is an absolute staple. In this day and age, where data is everywhere and ever-growing, the importance of a system to ensure data is governed is a no-brainer. Given how critical having a system of data governance is within a business, having the right data governance platform is equally important. Thus, selecting a sound data governance solution that fully utilizes machine learning is recommended to be assured that it will remain reliable amidst competitive and volatile data landscapes.
To learn more about data governance, or how the Alex Platform can help you create a system of data governance in your organization please request a free, personalized demo to answer any questions you might have.