What is Data Governance?
A very interesting article was written over at the Data Strategy Journal recently – in it they attempted to simply define Data Governance. Easy task right? Not so much. Their method for getting at some definitions was to interview consultants, practitioners, and vendors and asking them to simply “define data governance”. I like the approach of asking people in different positions to define something – this almost certainly ensures diversity since their perspectives are very different. Its a bit frightening to see the many different types of answers, but I certainly understand them since the discipline is still emerging.
The article can be viewed here: Data Strategy Journal: Defining Data Governance
This had made me realize that many people are doing different things under the heading of “Data Governance”. While it does encompass many actions, I believe that we should also classify things correctly. If you are doing pro-active analysis on data using profiling tools, you are probably doing data quality and Data Profiling, not governance. For my thoughts on what data governance is, you can read my data governance page or my post on updating the wikipedia definition.
Do you want to take a shot at defining data governance? Email it to me or leave it in the comments.
One thing that is important, and should be seen in every definition, is a heavy focus on the business. Generally, this is a business problem and initiative. Sure, it is often run out of IT, and sometimes even IT tools can help, but the objectives and direction should all be directed by the business.
I wish they would have asked me for my definition