Data governance

How Business and IT Can Overcome the Data Governance Challenge

IT has long been the guardian of data within enterprises, but as we enter a new era of data operations and governance, that must change. It’s critical for organizations to bring IT and business leaders together. Everyone, from executives to leaders, must rethink their data jobs and take on higher levels of data responsibility, if organizations hope to meet the growing challenge of data governance and unleash the full potential of data. .

First, we need to agree on what we mean by data governance. The value of data is hardly a surprise to any mature organization, and data governance, in simple terms, is the process of managing its availability, integrity, security, and usability. . This allows organizations to plan how and when they use data so that it is treated consistently across the enterprise.

This is important because effective data governance ensures that data is reliable and consistent and, perhaps more importantly, that it is not misused. This is crucial as organizations face new data privacy regulations and increasingly rely on data analytics to help them make important business decisions.

In the past, data governance was mostly about cataloging data elements to support search and discovery without any real understanding of their meaning, relationships, or value to the organization. As a result, risk control costs often became unnecessarily excessive. Low-value, business-critical data could easily be subject to equally stringent security requirements, and the risk could even go unnoticed without a good understanding of the rules that apply to the data.

Additionally, opportunities to boost business agility were also missed. It is difficult, after all, to make great business decisions based on data that cannot be traced back to a reliable source. For many companies, it was also difficult to plan for change because the impact of data on people, processes and systems was not properly understood.

Loss of potential

Data has the potential to offer businesses unparalleled insights and can be one of the most valuable and important assets within an organization. After all, many organizations would pay significant amounts of money to truly understand their customers and better understand what drives purchasing decisions. However, the amount of data requiring analysis and query continues to grow to mind-boggling dimensions – and it can quickly become a nightmare if companies don’t have processes in place.

The collective sum of global data is expected to reach 175 zettabytes by 2025 – according to IDC’s Data Age 2025 report. The same research reveals that companies around the world will bear the burden of managing more than 97% of this big data. But currently, less than 0.5% of data is analyzed and used. To continue at this rate in an increasingly information-rich world would represent a huge loss of potential for companies, even if they devote more time and resources to collecting and storing data.

But businesses are waking up to this huge challenge and are finally collaborating with IT to meet this challenge head-on. One of the main hurdles is establishing a formal data governance strategy. According to a survey by First San Francisco Partners, lack of resources, difficulty proving the business case, and difficulty getting senior management to understand the importance of such an effort are among the top three barriers.

However, the defining principles of modern data governance help address these and other pressing issues. This more mature stage of data governance is marked by the idea that everyone within the organization is collaborating in the process, distributing responsibilities among more individuals as well as with key business leaders – to show ROI, from limiting data exposures to creating data opportunities and more revenue.

Strategic Initiative

Business leaders and their teams, after all, are the ones who know the data – what it is, what it means, who and what processes are using it and why. As well as the rules and policies that should apply to it. Without their perspective and participation in data governance, the company’s ability to intelligently block risk and enable growth will be seriously compromised. However, with their commitment, a sustainable return on investment will be achieved and the case for continued business commitment to data governance will be easier to justify.

However, it is vital that modern data governance is a strategic initiative. A data governance strategy is the foundation on which to build a strong data-driven organization.

Proper implementation – with enterprise data stakeholders ensuring alignment between data governance and strategic business objectives and IT managing the technical mechanisms of data management – ​​is the doorway. open to trust data and use it effectively. Data definitions can be reconciled and understood across all parts of the business, the quality of the knowledge base can be assured, and security and compliance need not be sacrificed even as information accessibility expands. Companies can set themselves up to be agile in supporting change without creating legal, reputational or financial risk. But there is an urgent need to reach this point, as organizations increasingly become the sum of their data.

Incredibly, data still hasn’t received the same in-depth attention given to strategic “live” assets, such as physical plant equipment or tools, which are relentlessly tracked and scrupulously maintained so that the he business continues to operate at peak performance and that’s something. we have to change now.

Companies that cannot reliably define, classify, track and audit private data and enforce protections around it will take a heavy hit, as was the case with a well-known financial services provider whose staff appropriated customer information to open credit cards in their name without their knowledge. This company has faced more than a dozen inquiries, inquiries and lawsuits and has seen its credit card applications and checking account openings plummet following the revelations.

The reality is that data governance is everyone’s business and now is clearly the time for business people to take a leadership role, working with IT to discover, understand, govern and socialize data for the benefit of the entire organization.

Danny Sandwell, Data Governance Strategist, Quest