3 business trends driving data governance


top data governance trendsAccording to data governance leaders, Collibra, there are three major trends driving the realization that data governance is essential, rather than a nice to have.

These are:

  • The rise of the Chief Data Officer.
  • Regulatory oversight.
  • Business intelligence that delivers.

Are these trends driving data governance in Southern Africa?

Let’s examine them one by one.

  1.  The rise of the Chief Data Officer.

In Europe and the USA some studies suggest that up to 40% of organisations have employed a Chief Data Officer. Typically, a CDO is a business oriented role that is resposnsible for ensuring that data meets business needs, and drives business outcomes. As such, he or she, is typically reporting into a business line (CEO, CFO or COO) and has his own budget and responsibilities – most typically including data strategy, data goevrnance, data quality and, in many cases, advanced analytics.

In South Africa I would suggest that the CDO plays a much less influential role. In many cases, the CDO role is confused with related roles, including Chief Information Officer, Chief Analytics Officer, and even Chief Digital officer. Or the CDO role may not exist but the repsosnibilities of the CDO may be sitting in various middle management roles reporting into one of these mentioned. These more techncial roles frequently look at data in a more tradtional way, with IT taking the lead, rather than having business being accountable for the data they produce and use.

However, the CDO role is emerging in those businesses that recognise that they need to use dat more effectively in order to survive and thrive. Where business sees data as an asset the CDO is becoming accountable for data governance and stewardship and the value of governance to ensuring the effective use of data is becoming clear.

Has your organization hired a CDO or do you think they should?

2.   Regulatory Oversight.

Increased regulatory oversight is a given – particularly for financial services and multinational firms. More importantly, in the last few years, regulators have shown an increased appetite to penalise businesses that fail to comply with regulatory requirements. Penalaties for MTN in Nigeria, and for multiple banks in South Africa show that regulations such as KYC and AML must now be taken seriously. Poor data management or quality will no longer be allowed to excuse non-compliance.

Another wave of data related regulation, that will impact most businesses, are those related to the protection of sensitive data – PoPIA in South Africa and GDPR in Europe. Organisations must plan to govern the capture, access to, use of and destruction of personal data; must put processes in place to manage breaches, and must generally up their game when in comes to managing personal information.

Are you trying to figure out how to mitigate risk or avoid steep penalties?

3.     Business Intelligence that delivers

A key challenge for business intelligence is to deliver insight that actually sways decison making. Way to often, decisions are made that go against the data. In many caes, this is because data is so poorly managed that executives simply do not trust the results of analytics – particularly when this runs counter to their gut feel.

One approach taken by leading BI teams is to certify reports – rating them for data quality (is the data statistically reliable), for data traceability (where did the data come from) and for ownership (business engagement). This builds trust in the insights delivered, and helps decision makers assess whether or not to take each report seriously.

In the rapidly changing world, business leaders are looking to data to drive business change – through advanced analytics. The ability to easily find, understand and trust data – the outcomes of govrnance – are definitely drivers for many of the clients we talk to.

Is it time to stop talking about being “data driven” and actually do it?

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