Vitamin DG: 5 Reasons to use Data Governance as a Vitamin

data governance vitaminMany organizations use data governance as an aspirin. It eases an immediate pain, like a looming regulatory deadline, and makes it temporarily go away.

But organizations that use data governance as a vitamin – and practice data governance systemically – gain competitive advantage.

This is the premise of a new eBook and Webinar from our partner, data governance leaders, Collibra.

We all recognise the temptation to deliver tactical solutions:

  • We need a business glossary for our initial commitment to the regulator for BCBS 239
  • We need to classify sensitive data to protect customer privacy
  • We need to source critical customer data, from several business areas, to support our advanced customer analytics capability

Data Governance as an Aspirin

In each of the above examples, information is the centre point.

We may feel the need for information governance, at a project level, in order to meet some of the demands of each project.

In this case decision making would typically have a tactical, project focus. Documentation would be limited to the specific project requirements and perspectives, and may only be shared with and available to the project team.

Data governance is taking place to remove an immediate head ache. But it delivers minimal, if any, long term value.

Data Governance as a Vitamin

In recent year’s we have seen a shift in healthcare. Rather than quick-fix treatments for the symptoms of ill health we have seen a shift back to the causes – such as lack of exercise and a poor diet. Daily vitamin supplements have become a way of life as we seek to improve and maintain our health.

Similarly, if we are to create healthy data, and a data driven culture, within our business we need to integrate data governance principles systemically into our business, information and development life cycles. By crowd sourcing data governance we make the task manageable, engage our stake holders and deliver lasting value.

Here are some  reasons to treat data governance as a vitamin

  1.   Building Trusted Data

Information is Power!

Yet, realistically. many organisations are unable to access this power due to a lack of trust.

This lack of trust can be linked to many business people’s lack of engagement with their data. Data governance helps to increase engagement with data, which in turn increases trust. When data requirements, standards, policies and sources are defined by and transparent to decision makers, trust is one of the out comes.

2.           Reducing frustration and conflict

Information is a shared resource!

Yet, with a tactical approach to data governance we focus on data from a single perspective.

This means that we may makes changes that inadvertently  impact other stakeholders – leading to frustration and conflict. Data governance helps to build an enterprise understanding of how data is used and who will be impacted by any changes. Changes are communicated, negotiated and prioritised according to enterprise needs. This transparency and collaboration builds trust, not just in the data, but in each other.

3.           Reducing rework and IT costs

Information is an enterprise resource!

Yet, with a project approach to data governance we focus on data with our project blinkers on.

Often, we are so absorbed in our own timelines and budgets that we deliver work that is also required for, and being delivered, by other projects. Data governance helps to identify shared requirements and priorities, ensures that the knowledge captured is shared and communicated and, most importantly, reused. We can establish a shared project data stream that delivers the data requirements for multiple projects – saving time, reducing project risk and cutting costs

4.           Reducing the regulatory burden

Information is increasingly regulated!

Yet, with a project approach to regulations and compliance we tackle each new regulation in isolation.

Each regulatory team has to build their own framework for data compliance . Data governance helps to define a shared framework for regulatory data policies, standards and traceability. Each new regulatory requirement can be assessed within this framework – allowing existing work to be reused an reducing the regulatory burden.

5.           Understanding the enterprise impact of data

Information models the business!

Yet, systems are frequently implemented to enable specific processes and functions..

Similar data is stored in multiple places, with (frequently) very little understanding of how it is related to other systems, how it is being used for reporting, or what the impact of change may be. Data governance helps to build an enterprise knowledge base where the relationships and importance of data is clearly traceable – from business use to technical implementation – and where the stake holders that may be impacted by any proposed change are kept in the loop. This allows the business impact of proposed changes to be swiftly assessed and managed.

Of course, there are many more reasons to treat data governance as a vitamin. What are some of yours?

Learn more in tonight’s Information Management webinar with Collibra co-founder and CTO, Stan Christiaens,

and download the free e-book, Data governance – A vitamin for competitive advantage

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