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Data Governance

Data governance is the best way to help your organisation become data centric. Knowledge of the ins and outs is powerful and people who can drive adoption become valuable leaders in the organisation. Data governance is an organisational discipline. It is supported by technology, but not a technology in itself.

True data governance puts the rules in place and aligns the organisation so data is not a potential liability. In an overly data-rich world where the winners and losers are based on how well they react and respond (especially in a downturn), data governance helps organisations easily understand those mounds of data. It fuels growth and digital transformation.

Good data governance first and foremost ensures the massive amounts of data in an organisation can be harnessed for business value. Ungoverned data is messy, rule-less and cramps productivity. Data governance means an organisation can trust their data to answer important questions, like which products in which markets are likely to deliver the highest revenue.  Bad data means bad answers, which lead to bad decisions, which can hurt an organisation. 

Data governance is the lifeblood for any organisation that depends on data to make important decisions. And what organisation doesn’t? Businesses must have good, well-governed data to ensure they derive the most benefit from this precious asset while maintaining important policies. The best, healthiest organisations in today’s environment have effective data governance programs. We will see them survive and thrive while others falter.  Make sure your organisation is on the winning side.

Building a data governance framework

A good data governance framework includes policies,procedures, processes, rules along with the right organisational structure and the technology to make it all happen. Believing a technology solution alone will magically result in data governance can be a mistake. Any initiative is composed of people and processes, along with the supporting technology and data governance is no different.

The framework must also involve the executives in the organisation. Data governance has to be understood and appreciated in the boardroom or it will never survive at the operational level. Resources need to be allocated. Empowerment must happen. Leadership needs to lead and achieve alignment that ensures adoption.

The first step of building the framework is to articulate the objectives in a Mission Statement and define the KPIs that will be used to determine progress. Expressing this early ensures that your effort is aligned with the vision.

Then the framework must include all aspects of how the organisation will govern its data.  What are the rules? The policies? The processes and procedures?  The business glossary?  The map of all data assets? This step will consume significant energy, data experience, and knowledge of the organisation.

Next, determine accountability. Who will be responsible for each part of the program, and who sits with overall responsibility and decision making?

Lastly, once the data governance framework is laid out, the committee will turn to technology and choose a platform that best supports the vision.  A good technology solution will gather metadata from a variety of systems, manage a business glossary, enforce policies and procedures, tie to a technical data dictionary, and more. The ease of an integrated platform ensures these capabilities come together easily.

With all that in place, the realisation of data governance in the organisation can be achieved.