Understanding Data Governance

Because your data is too precious to be left in the hands of just anyone!

By | 2 minute read | January 23, 2023

data governance for data management

If you’re in charge of managing data at your organization, you know how important it is to have a system in place for ensuring that your data is accurate, up-to-date, and secure. That’s where data governance comes in.

What exactly is data governance and why is it so important?

Simply put, data governance is the process of establishing policies, procedures, and standards for managing data within an organization. It involves defining roles and responsibilities, setting standards for data quality, and ensuring that data is being used in a way that is consistent with the organization’s goals and values.

But don’t let the dry language fool you – data governance is crucial for the success of any organization. Without it, you might as well be throwing your data to the wolves (or the intern who just started yesterday and has no idea what they’re doing). Poor data governance can lead to all sorts of problems, including:

Inconsistent or conflicting data

Imagine trying to make important business decisions based on data that’s all over the place. Not only is it frustrating, but it can also lead to costly mistakes.

Data security breaches

If your data isn’t properly secured, you’re leaving yourself open to all sorts of nasty surprises. Hackers and cyber-criminals are always looking for ways to get their hands on sensitive data, and without proper data governance, you’re making it way too easy for them.

Loss of credibility

If your data is unreliable or incorrect, it can seriously damage your organization’s reputation. No one is going to trust you if they can’t trust your data.

As you can see, data governance is no joke. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun! Okay, maybe “fun” is a stretch, but there are definitely ways to make data governance less of a chore. Here are a few best practices to keep in mind:

Establish clear roles and responsibilities

Make sure everyone knows who is responsible for what. Provide the necessary training and resources to help people do their jobs effectively.

Define policies and procedures

Set clear guidelines for how data is collected, stored, and used within your organization. This will help ensure that everyone is on the same page and that your data is being managed consistently.

Ensure data quality

Regularly check your data for accuracy and completeness. Put processes in place to fix any issues that you find. Remember: garbage in, garbage out.

Break down data silos

Data silos are the bane of any data governance program. By breaking down these silos and encouraging data sharing and collaboration, you’ll be able to get a more complete picture of what’s going on within your organization.

Of course, implementing a successful data governance program isn’t always easy. You may face challenges like getting buy-in from stakeholders, dealing with resistance to change, and managing data quality. But with the right approach and a little bit of persistence, you can overcome these challenges and create a data governance program that works for you.

So don’t be afraid to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty with data governance. Your data – and your organization – will thank you for it.

In future posts, my Data Elite team and I will help guide you in this journey with our point of view and insights on how IBM can help accelerate your organization’s data readiness with our solutions.

If you’d like to explore more about data governance now, we recommend you check out The Data Differentiator.