What happens if you don’t have data governance?

Earlier this month, Data Governance coach, Nicola Askham published a piece entitled Why you need data governance.

In the piece she observed that the driver for data governance is shifting from defensive drivers such as compliance to offensive drivers enabling revenue.

Nicola describes how data management activities – such as data quality and master data management are dependent on governance, and discusses some of the benefits – such as improved efficiency, better decision making and, of courses, compliance with data heavy regulations such as Anti-Money Laundering and Protection of Personal Information

She then asks the question – What happens if you don’t have data governance?

Without data governance your data management activities are disjointed and wasteful.

Data management can be seen a sea of building blocks – data quality, data integration, data access, business analytics and many more must be fitted together to deliver on business priorities.

Data governance provides the decision making foundation to enable every other data related activity in the business. I would suggest that your organisation is doing data governance, whether consciously or unconsciously as data related decisions are being made all the time.

Every report that is requested, every data related IT project or activity, every data related compliance initiative – each and all of these require and therefore are practicing some form of data governance.

However, those organisations that are delivering governance at (multiple) tactical; levels cannot achieve the benefits of improved efficiency.

Duplication of effort will be common, and in some cases conflicting decisions may be made. These conflicts are where the real risk and real costs lie. Ultimately, like in the picture, your building blocks may not come together to deliver on the enterprise plan.

How effective is your data governance capability?