Data Governance is the number one candidate to help businesses harness the data wave. It brings structure and order to the way your organization works with this valuable asset. It is a framework that unites processes, policies, practices, standards, and metrics that an organization applies to all the information it manages, stores, and uses to fulfill its business goals in the most efficient way.
Frequently, small businesses and start-ups claim that embracing data governance would be too expensive and fit only big enterprises. Many small businesses believe that on their scale the advantages are unlikely to outweigh the investment needed.
Not really! Data Governance is more a way of thinking and treating your data, rather than a long and time-consuming project that you have to complete once and for all. Well-organized data can be useful to everyone, although there will be no need to deploy such a complex and sophisticated data governance system as in an enterprise.
Having those standards in place (and what’s more important, following them) assures more transparency and accuracy in the way you handle data. Moreover, it allows you to extract every last drop of value from information across the entire business.
Regardless of the size of your business, data governance can help you harness the data wave in systems and achieve the following results:
1. Elevate your IT system performance
The more data you need to process, the more attention you pay to the speed and efficiency of how your systems execute their algorithms. Data governance aids in defining and optimizing the manner in which your information is accumulated, organized, stored, and accessed, bringing more structure into the whole ecosystem. This improves system performance and makes it easier for different software solutions to work with the data.
2. Guarantee data accuracy and consistency
When dealing with big data from lots of different sources, you risk having duplicates, inconsistencies, and other digital clutter. This leads to data loss and major discrepancies that cause system failures even if there are no faults in the software itself. Implementing a thought-through master data management framework and effective data monitoring can be a good option as it imposes a range of rules that guarantee data quality. The higher it is, the more confident you can be in your metrics, analytics, and IT systems.
3. Safeguard data availability
Ensuring that your critical data is accessible right when it is needed is key to the efficient operation of your entire IT ecosystem. Every moment it is out of reach, you are wasting precious professional opportunities, especially in real-time and near-real-time systems. It has been confirmed that data loss can cost nearly $8000 per minute. Practicing data governance ensures that your critical information is there – available and easily accessible when users or IT systems need it.
4. Make your systems work together efficiently
When information is stored in and processed through multiple systems, many possibilities for data quality issues, potential data loss, and system errors arise. Data governance imposes principles and requirements with which each of your system integration points complies, thus minimizing system interoperability risks.
5. Save maintenance efforts
Organizing your system in a productive way from the start is of utmost importance if you don’t want to spend hours of your employees’ time and thousands of dollars on maintenance. Implementing best practices of master data management simplifies the task by bringing more structure into your data architecture both at the company level and down to specific systems in your portfolio.
6. Improve system and data scalability
It is always a good idea to make your IT ecosystem future-proof. Such endurance guarantees that even in the coming years the system will continue to address your business needs and maintain the standard to which data is handled. As your enterprise grows, it will challenge your IT ecosystem with the increased workload, growing assertiveness, and the need to scale. With data governance implemented, you will have the most critical metrics under control and will be able to identify such needs long before they become an issue for your company.
7. Ensure regulatory compliance (GDPR, CCPA, HIPPA)
Not only does low standard data pose a substantial risk to your business but it also doesn’t comply with data quality rules and government-imposed regulations. These are meant to protect personal and sensitive data that is in the hands of organizations. Data governance is a way of structuring and organizing your databases in a way that ensures full regulatory compliance. It defines what information is considered sensitive and who is allowed to access it as well as setting strict data retention policies. This falls in line with most data privacy regulation policies.
2020 has put a lot of business in front of a tough digital transformation challenge. We know for a fact that no such change is possible without a good foundation. Data governance framework implementation is one of the essentials that lay a base to make this revolution easier.
To implement an effective data governance strategy to your business, you should assemble a data governance team and assign their roles, identify a framework to follow, establish targets and direction, define owners of data assets, and leverage analytics for continuous improvement. So, make sure that you take the necessary steps to come up with a strong data governance program to minimize the risk of data breaches.
Boris Trofimov, Software Architect, Sigma Software