What is data governance?

Data governance is the overall management of data availability, relevancy, usability, integrity and security in an enterprise. It helps organizations manage their information knowledge and answer questions, such as:

  • What do we know about our information?
  • Where did this data come from?
  • Does this data adhere to company policies and rules?

Data governance practices provide a holistic approach to managing, improving and leveraging information to help an enterprise's overall data management efficiency.

Data governance solutions from IBM enable you locate and retrieve information about data objects — their meaning, physical location, characteristics and usage. This helps improve IT productivity, while meeting regulatory and compliance requirements.

-> See why IBM was recently recognized as a leader in The Forrester Wave: Machine Learning Data Catalogs


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Flexible data governance strategy

With multiple entry points, you can adopt a data governance strategy to suit your organizational objectives, while shaping business information in unique ways that suit your needs.

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Data cataloging

Use machine learning-powered data catalogs to improve the efficiencies of knowledge workers and make the processes of harvesting metadata, curating assets and sharing knowledge efficient.

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Confidence in big data analytics

Obtain clean, consolidated, consistent and current information. Use this information to drive big data projects and applications, while aligning with governance objectives.

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Privacy and protection

Identify data with meaning; assess data value and risk; secure personally identifiable information (PII), predictive customer intelligence (PCI) and personal health information (PHI); and comply with GDPR.

In the spotlight

Prepare for the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)

Join IBM data governance experts in this webcast to learn how to transform and accelerate your privacy-readiness journey for CCPA.

IBM Information Governance Catalog and IBM Watson Knowledge Catalog

IBM combines capabilities from IBM Information Governance Catalog with innovative user experiences from IBM Watson® Knowledge Catalog designed for metadata consumption to help you build your enterprise’s unified knowledge catalog.


IBM InfoSphere® Information Governance Catalog

An enterprise data catalog that allows users to create, manage and share a common business language and to find, understand and analyze information

IBM InfoSphere Information Analyzer

Provides data profiling and analysis to accurately evaluate the content and structure of your data for consistency and quality

IBM StoredIQ® Suite

Automates policy execution across unstructured data, and helps you make informed business decisions as you act on this data

IBM Optim™

Manages data from requirements through retirement to help improve business agility, while reducing costs

Industry models

Combines deep expertise and industry best practices in a usable form (“blueprint”) for business and IT communities to help accelerate industry solutions

Watson Knowledge Catalog

Activates data for AI and analytics with intelligent, collaborative cataloging, backed by dynamic-data-access policies and enforcement


InfoSphere Information Governance Catalog

Understand information and foster collaboration between business and IT, establishing a foundation for information integration and governance projects.

The truth about information governance and the cloud

Discover how good hybrid information governance implies several priorities for IT and the business, which are based on four foundational pillars.

Analyst research: Big data, bad data, good data

Explore through this IDC white paper the link between good information governance and the outcomes of big data analytics projects.

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Metadata Management Solutions

See how IBM has been positioned as a leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Metadata Management Solutions.

The IBM solution empowers us to keep our clients’ personal data safe, protecting the company’s reputation and preserving our customers’ trust.

Han van der Vinden, Test Manager, CZ

Success in your industry


To protect its clients and its reputation, insurer CZ needed its systems to comply with privacy regulations such as the GDPR. 


By using IBM data governance solutions, BBVA Compass built a trusted foundation to reduce risk, drive compliance and spark new business insights.


In collaboration with IBM, Rabobank built a test-data factory to automate extracting production data and delivering it to test systems, using pseudonymization to maintain data privacy. 

Related products

IBM InfoSphere Information Server

An advanced, end-to-end data integration platform that enables you to cleanse, monitor, transform and deliver trusted data

IBM InfoSphere Master Data Management

Manages master data for single or multiple domains, including customers, suppliers, products, accounts and more

IBM InfoSphere Data Replication

Helps replicate data across a broad range of RDBMS and non-RDBMS sources and targets with low latency, and helps provide transactional integrity

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