What is data governance?
Before we begin to talk about the guiding principles involving data governance, we need to understand what exactly the term means. According to the Data Governance Institute (DGI), data governance is defined as a framework that helps several data stakeholders in identifying and meeting all the information requirements. This set of principles and practices ensure the stakeholders are guaranteed high-quality data throughout its lifecycle.
According to IDC estimates, digital data is estimated to grow to 163 zettabytes by 2025, 80% of which will be created by businesses. In the current scenario, data management systems are not enough. Along with data management, there needs to be a set of rules involving processes so that all the rules get followed consistently and regularly.
Now, let us get into these main principles that will help us manage our data:
Principles of data governance
According to a survey conducted by BARC to rank the importance of data governance on a scale from 1 to 10 (with 1 being completely unimportant, and 10 being essential), best-in-class companies gave data governance an importance rating of 6.5, while competitors lagging behind gave it a rating of 6.0.
All organisations that use the processes of data governance need to ensure that certain principles are followed to ensure successful governance of their data. This means that members of the organisation need to participate and be held accountable all throughout the organisation for their data management. To make sure the data governance is implemented effectively, these five principles are considered to be a must:
The employees of a company need to be held accountable for the data governance process. Accountability can be considered to be one of the essential principles of data governance because if no one is held responsible for the company’s data governance, the entire process will turn out to be ineffective, directionless and a waste of resources.
This accountability principle needs to be applied across the organisation and its departments. For example, if only the IT department is held responsible for the data governance of the entire organisation, a company-wide concern could be considered to be the problem of just the IT Team, which could lead to an ineffective response and poor management and solution to the problem.
For companies to make sure that all departments across the organisation hold accountability, a data governance council made of representatives from each department can be formed to accurately define the procedures and policies to be implemented and monitor their effectiveness in implementation.
Standardized rules and regulations
To protect the organisation’s data and to make sure it is put to use while following all rules and regulations, there needs to be a guideline created with standardized rules and regulations for all the employees to follow. This will help with the success of your data governance process because your data usage will always be compliant. The data governance council mentioned above can create these rules and regulations for all departments to follow.
To manage the accountability for all the departments and make sure all the rules and regulations are being followed, companies create a data governance council made up of representatives from different departments. To make sure the data governance council follows all the rules and regulations and that all the processes are being implemented, companies need to have a data steward who will undertake this responsibility. The data steward will be accountable for the data council and will ensure that all the rules and regulations which are created by the council are followed by the departments.
Data quality standards
To make sure that your organisation makes intelligent business decisions which have a positive impact on the company, it becomes very important for all employees to have access to data which is of high quality and can be deemed trustworthy to generate insights and future predictions. Also, the output of any frontier technology like data analytics, AI, machine learning, etc, depends on the quality of input data. The data governance council again plays a significant role in this aspect, as well. The council works with the data steward to create a standard to measure the quality of data which can be applied across the organisational data. These standards, once created, will make sure that all the data that comes into your organisation is measured for quality and it is recorded, and the entire organisation uses these standards of data quality for their data governance and management.
The final and one of the most important principles of data governance is transparency. All the processes of data governance which are implemented across your organisation need to be transparent in nature so that any and all potential third party audits can quickly see how your company’s data gets handled as well as what this data has been used for and the reason as to why it was used in that particular manner. This can be done by maintaining a permanent record of all the data governance actions and processes undertaken by your company.
Even if there is a data breach in your company, this transparency will protect your organisation. It also becomes possible to know and learn in the ways in which data is being used and handled across various departments in your organisation.
The above-mentioned principles are the ones that create a bedrock for all successful data governance implementation and strategies. These principles create a means to give access to employees across all departments in order to participate and assist with the implementation of data governance in the company, and also to make sure that it is compliant with all regulations and that these strategies are being followed as well.
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