How Data Governance Can
Support Your Organization

Blog Author: Zoey Husband, Senior Consultant

Traditionally one of the most common drivers for governance implementation has been compliance – partly because it’s an easily justifiable use case.

But there’s a problem. Many organizations have implemented a very rigid structure with a pure compliance angle or have focused on only a very small subset of the sub-capabilities required for a fully governed data landscape.

The viewpoint that we see echoed by leading industry sources:

“organizations have so far been unsuccessful in maturing a compliance-based Data Governance program into one that drives real quantifiable business value.”

Due to new regulations such as GDPR, and political uncertainty (Brexit), we also have seen that the use case for Data Governance has not progressed to a point where maximum value can be achieved.

“GDPR has helped to focus the minds of businesses and organizations on the need for effective data governance. However, data gathered to meet the regulations is not limited to being used only for compliance. It can also be used to help companies transform and thrive.”

Source: Agile Solutions Data Management Culture Whitepaper (Sept 2019)

Organizational compliance has leaned towards a tactical, cost minimization implementation. However, today’s organizations must take a wider view, and consider a more diverse list of business goals and enablers, including:

  • digital transformation
  • data-driven decision making
  • advanced analytics
  • machine learning and data science

Data governance needs to evolve to keep up not only with today’s business needs, but tomorrow’s too. This means using early data management and data governance principles as a base to build on and supporting today’s business strategy as well as traditional compliance use cases.

Good data governance can also support the needs of tomorrow’s organization, through:

Data literacy

One of the foundations of data literacy is a full understanding of the data you have and what it means. Traditional siloed dictionaries are not enough. The new organization needs a 360° data glossary, where lineage is fully accessible.

Data-driven decision making

Companies with an edge will be employing advanced analytics, machine learning and data science, as well as championing data literacy. These activities are much more fruitful if these communities can trust the data quality and definition, and don’t have to spend excessive time in data preparation. In addition, data governance will function more as a service provider in these communities.

Data ethics

This is a new area for data governance. In the new data governance organization, it should be very tightly linked with analytics ethics for applicable industries.

However, of all the changes required to ensure data governance supports your organization today and tomorrow, the most important of all is in:

Data management culture

Data governance is no longer just a team or department. It is a competency center with an Enterprise Information Management mindset, underpinned by the team but adopted by the entire organization.

The data governance team has to champion the understanding of data, its interpretation and its value, supported by analytics training by subject matter experts. Organizational design and the personal profile of data governance roles will also evolve. These people need to be enterprise thinkers with a continual improvement mindset, always looking for opportunities to better support the business strategy and maximize data value. There will be more use of business analysis and business development skills than previously.

“Because of the variety of data sources involved, and the breadth of uses to which it can be put, it is essential to release that data governance is a “team sport” across the whole enterprise and far beyond IT alone. It is not just about the technology, but the people, their skills and – ultimately – the data management culture within which they operate”

Source: Agile Solutions Data Management Culture Whitepaper (Sept 2019)

Tomorrow’s data governance will adhere to the disciplines of the past, applied in a modern way to support future business needs.

Agile Solutions Data Strategy Governance and Security team are specialists, helping our clients to make the cultural, process and technological changes needed to succeed in the data-driven world of today – and tomorrow.

Good Data Governance is Good Business Governance

Tel: 0190 801 0618