Data Governance

The process of managing the availability, usability, integrity, and security of the data in enterprise systems

What is Data Governance?

Data governance is the process of managing the availability, usability, integrity, and security of the data in enterprise systems. It is “governed” through internal data standards and policies that control data usage, and effective governance ensures that data is trustworthy, consistent, and does not get misused.

 

Data Governance

 

Summary

  • Data governance is the process of managing the availability, usability, integrity, and security of the data in enterprise systems. It is “governed” through internal data standards and policies that control data usage, and effective governance ensures that data is trustworthy, consistent, and does not get misused.
  • The main role of data governance is to ensure that the data quality remains high throughout the complete lifecycle of the data and the controls which are implemented are in line with the organizations’ business objectives.
  • A well-designed, high-quality data governance program usually includes a responsible governance team, a steering committee that serves as the governing body, and a group of data stewards.

 

Role of Data Governance

The main role of data governance is to ensure that the data quality remains high throughout the complete lifecycle of the data and the controls which are implemented are in line with the organizations’ business objectives. It is important that information is used both effectively and efficiently and is in line with the company’s intentions. Data governance identifies who can take what action, as a result of what data, in which situations, and using what methods.

 

Importance of Data Governance

Data governance is a fundamental part of any organization that works with big data and results in consistent, common business processes and responsibilities across the map. It highlights the type of data that needs to be carefully controlled through the organization’s data governance strategy. It sets clear rules relating to the roles of individuals with access or who are responsible for data, and the rules must be agreed upon across different departments of the organization.

For example, maintaining the privacy of patient information and health records is especially important in the healthcare industry. For organizations, such as hospitals or individual doctors’ offices, it is certainly necessary to manage patient data securely as it flows throughout the business.

 

Who is Involved in Data Governance?

A well-designed, high-quality data governance program usually includes a responsible governance team, a steering committee that serves as the governing body, and a group of data stewards. Data stewards refer to an oversight role in data governance within an organization. They are tasked with ensuring the quality and fitness of the organization’s data assets. Data stewards are considered a specialist role, and they also assist with the development and implementation of data assets, as well as recommend improvements to the data governance process.

All the individuals mentioned here work together to create the standards and policies for governing data, as well as the implementation and enforcement procedures primarily carried out by the data stewards. Senior executives and representatives from an organization’s management also take part in data governance along with the IT and data management teams.

 

Goals of Data Governance

One goal of data governance is to break down data silos in an organization. Data silos refer to a repository of fixed data that is controlled by just one department and is isolated from the remainder of the organization. Sometimes, data silos occur when different departments compete with one another instead of working together towards a common business goal.

Data silos are usually viewed negatively since they hinder effective business operations and serve as a barrier to collaboration and accessibility between different departments. Data governance seeks to harmonize the data in the systems through a collaborative process with members from each of the various business units participating. One analogy is to compare data governance to the United Nations, which helps bring together different groups with varying views in an attempt to collaborate for the greater good.

Also, data governance aims to ensure that data is used properly. What it entails is to both avoid introducing data errors into systems while blocking the potential misuse of personal data and other sensitive information. Data governance accomplishes the said objectives by creating uniform policies on the use of data and introducing procedures to check usage and enforce the policies on an ongoing basis.

 

Benefits of Data Governance

The most notable benefits of data governance include providing improved data quality, lower data management costs, increased access to needed data across the organization, lower risks of errors being introduced, and ensuring that clear rules regarding access to data are both set, enforced, and adhered to.

Ultimately, data governance helps improve business decision-making by giving the management better and higher quality data, which likely results in competitive advantages and increased revenues.

 

Related Readings

CFI is the official provider of the global Business Intelligence & Data Analyst (BIDA)® certification program, designed to help anyone become a world-class financial analyst. To keep advancing your career, the additional CFI resources below will be useful:

  • Competitive Advantage
  • Data Protection
  • Corporate Governance
  • Data Warehousing