What is Data Governance? A Simple Guide to Beginners
Data Governance regulates the data's availability, integrity, and security in companies' systems. And it also ensures that data is consistent and doesn't get misused. Assume that you have bought a laptop and claimed this off as a business expense. You submit the expense report and anticipate being reimbursed soon. However, one of your company's accountants reviews the expense report and immediately contacts you. Although you have the full privilege of getting reimbursement from the company against any tech product, your accountant gives you a call because he doesn't know the whole story of why you needed to purchase that laptop.
Well, the same applies to your data. In companies, people don't create data; they manage, handle, and secure it. So guess who they will contact if your data is kept in different formats between the systems? Yes, you are right, the business users. But data issues don't come in sporadic amounts instead of in large quantities. And for sure, these problems cannot be resolved in one call like our expense case. And this is where Data Governance enters into the picture. Without data governance,
- People are unsure of who to ask the right answers to.
- Chances of using incorrect information could be high
- Data quality issues lead to a bad-decision making
What is data governance?
According to Boltic- Data governance is an enterprise framework that includes people, processes, policies, and technologies to integrate, standardize, manage and protect data throughout the enterprise. With this definition, you may have understood that DG is all about ensuring that the data used in your company is correct, properly structured, defined, cleaned, and ready for analysis.
Why does it matter?
There are plenty of reasons to include data governance in a business model, right from the governed data to maintain its quality and secure it. However, it may not solve all data problems, but it does help you in managing data. The main reason to include a data governance strategy is that it ensures that data is consistent and trustworthy. It is very hard to remove data inconsistencies without data governance.
Let's understand the importance of data governance with this example-
Every company needs high revenue. For that, they hire the best employees, offer the best products to the customers, focus on the customers' experience, and still not take their product to new heights. Want to know the barrier that stands in their way? Poor data.
Yes, companies are dealing with multiple data issues. They either have several data sources or inconsistent data or don't have data governance tools to resolve data quality problems. At its primitive level, data governance leads to better data quality, lower data management costs, and increased data access for all stakeholders.
Above all else, governed and secured data matters.
Who is included in data governance?
Now that we have looked at the data governance definition and why it's important. Let's discuss who is included in data governance.
A successful data governance program involves the entire enterprise. Large enterprises appoint a data governance team responsible for getting the greatest possible return on the data. The following are the most common team designations:
1. Data owners
They are the senior stakeholders who define the enterprise's requirements for data. They take ownership of data and make decisions for the entire enterprise, like who can access and edit it.
2. Data stewards
This is a purely technical role. Data architects are another term for data stewards. They are responsible for defining and ensuring all data standards and policies are followed daily.
3. Data custodians
Data custodians are data operators who develop and maintain the data as per the enterprise standards. Their job is to maintain data on the IT infrastructure as per the business requirements.
4. Data governance committee
The data governance committee is responsible for approving policies and standards related to data governance. In addition, this committee has the role of reviewing, sharing, and promoting uniform and effective administrative policies and best practices.
Undoubtedly, data governance is the most important asset that enterprises have. It ensures that the data is secured, trustworthy, documented, managed, and audited. If you want better insights from the data, you have to ensure it is good and standard. And for that, it is essential to involve extensive data management practices like data governance.