Why data governance should not be a tech-only approach

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The focus on data governance has escalated in the last 18 months, in part because of the emergence of new regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation.

“Organizations have finally realized the value that is contained within their data assets,” says Stewart Bond, research director, data integration and data integrity software, at International Data.

Good governance practices can help organizations protect their data, Bond said. One is to avoid associating data governance with "no," rather than "yes," he says.

“To be enabled by data, the right data needs to be trustworthy, timely and delivered to the right resources at the best time,” Bond notes. “Data enablement still requires governance to infuse trust, timeliness, and availability and provide protection. But not at a level that stifles innovation.”

Organizations that approach data governance with a technology-only approach will fail, Bond said.

“Data enablement and data governance are organizational problems that require an organizational solution, aligned with corporate strategies and implemented through vision, strategy, people, processes, policies, architecture and technology,” he adds.

Another good practice is to not get too academic.

“Theories and methodologies are important, but practicality also needs to be understood,” Bond said. “Find a balance between the two extremes to focus on what is relevant.”

Also, establish metrics to measure improvements.

“The number of data assets available through the program, the number of users utilizing the assets, the quality of data curated within the program are basic metrics that can be tracked,” Bond says. “Measuring how long it takes for employees to find, prepare, and analyze data is another metric that will show improvement as data enablement takes hold. What isn't measured cannot be improved.”

This story originally appeared in Information Management.
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