Data Governance

The process of regulating the availability, accessibility, integrity, and security of data in corporate systems, based on internal data standards and policies that also control data usage, is known as data governance (DG). Effective data governance guarantees that data is consistent, reliable, and secure, and that it is not mishandled. It’s becoming more important as businesses confront new data privacy requirements and rely on data analytics to help them streamline operations and make better business decisions.

Why data governance matters

Data inconsistencies in various systems throughout a company may not be resolved without proper data governance. In sales, logistics, and customer service systems, for example, customer names may be listed differently. This could make data integration more difficult and cause data integrity difficulties, affecting the accuracy of BI, corporate reporting, and analytics systems. Furthermore, data inaccuracies may go undetected and uncorrected, lowering the accuracy of BI and analytics.

Components of a data governance framework

The policies, rules, processes, organizational structures, and technology that are put in place as part of a governance program make up a data governance framework. It also specifies the program’s mission, goals, and how success will be assessed, as well as decision-making roles and accountability for the many functions that will be included in the program. The governance framework of an organization should be established and disseminated internally to explain how the program will work so that everyone engaged is clear from the start.

Data governance software, on the other hand, can be used to automate portions of managing a governance program. While data governance tools aren’t required as part of the framework, they can help with program and workflow management, communication, governance policy development, process documentation, data catalogue building, and other tasks. They’re also compatible with data quality, metadata management, and master data management (MDM) software.

Benefits of Data Governance

An effective data governance strategy provides many benefits to an organization, including:

  • A common understanding of data — Data governance provides a consistent view of, and common terminology for, data, while individual business units retain appropriate flexibility.
  • Improved quality of data — Data governance is the process of developing a strategy for ensuring data accuracy, completeness, and consistency.
  • Data map — Data governance allows for a more improved understanding of the location of all data associated with key organizations, which is required for data integration. Like a GPS that can represent a physical landscape and help people find their way in unknown landscapes, data governance makes data assets useable and easier to connect with business outcomes.
  • 360-degree view of each customer and other business entities — Data governance is a framework for an organization to agree on a “single version of the truth” for essential business entities and provide a level of consistency that is suitable across organizations and business activities.
  • Consistent compliance — Data governance provides a platform for meeting the demands of government regulations, such as the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the US HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), and industry requirements such as PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards).
  • Improved data management — Data governance adds a human element to a data-driven, highly automated world. It establishes data management standards of behavior and best practices, ensuring that concerns and demands outside of traditional data and technology sectors — such as legal, security, and compliance — are addressed consistently.

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