Data Governance Fundementals


This article will provide an overview of what Data Governance is all about…. Interview style!

WHO ARE THE PEOPLE BEHIND DATA GOVERNANCE?

Data Governance is all about accumulating, gathering, storing and integrating raw customer data and making this information available when needed.  The people who are behind this process are called “Data Stakeholders” and they are composed of a mixed line-up of people from various departments in an enterprise – some coming from IT, Marketing, Human Resources, etc.

WHAT IS DATA GOVERNANCE AND HOW DOES IT WORK?

Data Governance is the discipline used by companies to ensure that accuracy, consistency and flow of data are stream-lined depending on the focus of the business.  The use of Data Governance ensures a smooth collection and dissemination of data information that are of quality, thereby solidifying the company’s integrity.

WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO MAKE USE OF FORMAL DATA GOVERNANCE?

The local data management of an enterprise can only take you so far. When there is more data that needs to be managed than is practical for ad-hoc management, the best bet is to implement the use of a formal Data Governance initiative.  Here are situations that call for such big transition:

  1. When there is a bigger volume of data that needs to be spread out within an organization.
  2. When the local data management system is so primordial that it cannot efficiently store and show data when needed.  Formal Data Governance uses a more sophisticated system to ensure the quality of data being used in the enterprise.
  3. The Data Architects in the organization needs to look at the enterprise from a macro-perspective in order to understand how data should be managed.
  4. A compliance system is needed to manage risk, legal obligations, or other regulations.

WHAT DEPARTMENTS ARE INVOLVED IN DATA GOVERNANCE?

Data Governance is mostly seen on a larger scale than most programs in an organization.  Its participants vary, but these resources generally represent IT, Human Capital, Marketing and Finance and Operations and Management.  It looks at information from a global scale and inputs from people from these departments are highly valued and taken into consideration.

WHY IS THERE A NEED FOR DATA GOVERNANCE?

Most companies create an elaborate Data Management System because it is important that different methods and procedures are aligned with this set-up.  Data Governance guarantees that information is properly carried out within an enterprise.  In doing so, data is disseminated to the right people at the time it is needed and, in return, makes the whole process efficient and cost-effective. Data Governance is generally a win-win situation for companies that choose to integrate it into their system.

HOW TO IMPLEMENT DATA GOVERNANCE FROM THE GROUND UP?

Do you notice how most companies develop a mission/vision statement? The same holds true for Data Governance. In order to fully maximize its use, the program manager needs to sit down with its people first and talk about where they want to be heading and what areas or key drivers they want to put focus on.  Identifying these things will help keep the program organized and will help steer it into the direction that executive management ultimately wants it to go in.

HOW MUCH DATA GOVERNANCE DO WE NEED?

It is extremely helpful to incorporate data governance when the data is not yet complex. This is usually a utopian-like thought, however, because most organizations have very complex data before they ever begin thinking about introducing data governance.

If you do start early, however, it becomes very easy to scale the program;  just add data as the need arises and put more structure into the program.  In order for data governance to work cohesively, departments should make use of common variables and terminologies and use them correctly and efficiently at all times.  It is wise to use it in a localized setting but with a global mindset.

WHAT KEY AREAS DO WE NEED TO PUT FOCUS ON WHEN IMPLEMENTING DATA GOVERNANCE?

We have been stressing that Data Governance is all about the accuracy and effectiveness of data accumulation and dissemination, hence, people who implement it should have the ability to communicate their thoughts effectively – both in action and in writing.  They need to be able to translate complex issues in a way that will be easily understood no matter which line of business utilizes the information.  The people behind Data Governance should have the ability to create, influence and assertively implement the data framework within the enterprise.

Proper training, effective training articles and materials can help the Data Governance team stay up to date in the ever-changing world of data management.

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