What is Data Governance? –
Governance of data is a means of formal procedures and agreements that are in place in an organization to provide accountability of data to ensure that multiple departments can utilize the data in a secure manner that is in a usable form for all stakeholders. Some issues of the governance of data include data quality, data stewardship, privacy, regulatory compliance, security, data integration and the responsibilities of all employees in regards to the company’s data.
Why Data Governance? –
With the advent of AI and the Internet of Things (IoT), there is a larger push for data to be governed in such a manner that is accessible, useful and secure for all of the diverse users that may need the data. Also, systems that are automated require data that is clean and useful to the systems that need to access the data.
Data governance is even important for organizations that are not dabbling in AI or IoT but are large enough to have multiple users in different departments that need to faithfully access the data from multiple perspectives and uses.
Also, the governance of data is relevant to organizations that have large regulatory hurdles to comply with. Finally, governance of data is for organizations that have their customers access and/or interact with the data and produce concrete products from such interaction.
What Could Go Wrong Without Governance of Data? –
- Without governance of data, AI or IoT systems cannot utilize all of the data as needed.
- Without governance of data, a departmentalized organization is going to run into issues where data is not in a useful form for all portions of the organization and needs to be “cleaned” or massaged into a useful state for some stakeholders.
- Without governance of data, the organization that profits by customers interacting with their data and producing concrete products will end up with a mishmash of end results that other customers cannot benefit from. Wouldn’t it be nice to download one map, GPS route, and write-up to go explore some waterfall that is in one consistent format instead of in a variety of formats, some of which you cannot access?
What is a Data Governance Framework? –
A data governance framework includes assigning key stakeholders positions as “owners” or managers of the data within the organization. These owners are often drawn from different departments and will be tasked with creating a formal set of rules and responsibilities about the acquisition, management, and storage of the data.
The idea is to create a formal framework that allows everyone in the organization with the need to utilize the data in a consistent and secure manner that resolves conflicts about the data and maintains the high quality and integrity of the data and its use in all portions of the organization.
Tips to Improve Governance of Data –
Choose data owners within the organization – Data owners from each department will be able to work together to create a unified, global, formal framework for the governance of data and will be where the buck stops when problems arise.
Improve the quality of the data – Have your team that is implementing governance of data framework assess the data for standardization of form and format, decide upon the characteristics between “good” and “bad” data and cull the latter regularly. They also need to evaluate what more could be added to the data set to enrich it.
Start small with fewer goals – Trying to get the governance of data quickly established is going to be a nightmare for larger organizations. It is better, to begin with, your data “owners” starting on a few priority goals.
How to Use Governance of Data to Improve Business –
Here are a few key ways in which the governance of data improves business:
Improving regulatory compliance – Many businesses face regulations about how they can utilize, manage and communicate with other organizations about their data. A framework for the governance of data makes such compliance more effective while still allowing for effective use of the data within the organization for all stakeholders.
Data integrity leads to greater use for analytics – When a framework for the governance of data is in place, users of the data no longer have to question if the data is accurate, so they will feel safe to utilize it in analytics. Also, users of the data will have the data owners to go to for their questions about the data.
Everyone has the information – Too many businesses have one person who is the repository of the data and other information. When this person is ill or leaves the company, there is a key loss of information. A formal governance of data framework and the team of data owners who publish information and guides about the data help to keep everyone in the loop and informed.
Larger organizations need to tie up the loose ends of their data in a formal governance framework that allows for the integrity, security, and use of the data across all departments in a meaningful manner for analytics as well as for regulatory compliance.