Data represents a valuable asset for any organization and the ability to effectively manage and govern it is crucial for driving business growth. Nevertheless, many organizations find it difficult to handle the amount of data they collect and store and are sometimes overwhelmed by the complexity of managing it.
This is why a well thought-out Data Governance program is required for all those organizations that rely on data to boost their growth.
At LARUS, we specialize in helping organizations of all sizes implement effective data governance. In this article, we will indeed discuss the importance of data governance, from the steps required for adoption to the benefits and challenges organizations may encounter along the way.
Why Data Governance Matters
Maximizing the value and trustworthiness of data, better documenting it and minimizing the risk of data breaches can only be done by defining Data Governance processes and policies.
Data Governance is the action of establishing policies, procedures and metrics for managing data throughout its lifecycle, ensuring that data is accurate, reliable, and accessible to the right people at the right time.
However, to develop a proper framework not only means to establish a set of standards. It also includes a plan in terms of strategic, tactical and operational roles and responsibilities, as well as an evaluation of expected benefits. This framing allows companies to overall ensure their data quality, accessibility and security.
By implementing Data Governance, organizations define who can take what action, upon what data, in what situations, with what method, but they also can:
– Improve decision-making.
By analyzing accurate and reliable data, organizations can gain insights that allow them to identify patterns and trends. Upon them they can then base marketing and sales strategies, product development and customer services. A clear understanding of the data asset can also help avoid costly mistakes that could be caused by inaccurate or incomplete information.
– Data Governance increase operational efficiency.
Establishing clear roles, responsibilities and processes for data management helps reduce both the effort required to manage data and the risk of potential errors. By introducing data quality controls, organizations can also ensure that their data is accurate and consistent, in this way facilitating automation and, as a result, reducing the need for manual intervention.
– Data Governance enhance customer satisfaction.
A comprehensive program is a good way to build trust and confidence towards the organisation. In fact, organisations that own accurate and reliable data can make the most of them and provide customers with personalised experiences. They are also able to improve customer loyalty and retention by complying with data protection regulations, thus demonstrating that they are handling personal data responsibly.
– Comply with regulatory requirements.
An increasing number of data protection regulations, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), are requiring organisations to be more transparent towards customers about how they manage data.
By deploying a Data Governance program and implementing the required data security controls, companies not only comply with regulations but also protect themselves from data breaches and potential financial and reputational consequences.
However, implementing Data Governance is not an easy task.
How to Implement a Successful Data Governance
Adopting a Data Governance program is a multi-step process that requires a clear understanding of the organization’s data needs and goals, a significant investment in time, money and personnel, as well as a strong commitment from both management and employees. But how is it built?
- Set the goal: The first step is to define the business goals. What does the organization want to achieve through data governance? There could be plenty of objectives: to improve data quality, to reduce costs or to increase revenue. Once the business goals are clear, companies can set priorities, understand data requirements, identify key stakeholders.
- Engage Stakeholders: Data governance will impact anyone and anything in the organization. In order for the Data Governance framework to meet the needs of all stakeholders, it is important to hear from everyone who will be affected by the changes.
- Assess your current data environment: The third step is to analyze the data the companies have, where it comes from, and how it is used. This also means identifying data sources, structure, format, and quality.
- Define the Data Governance framework: Organizations should specify who will be responsible for what, how decisions will be made, and what processes will be put in place to manage data. Moreover, everything has to be documented.
- Implement the Data Governance framework: Implementing the Data Governance framework includes defining policies and processes, putting in place tools and systems and training staff on how to use them, and monitoring compliance with policies and procedures:
- To establish policies and procedures means to develop policies and procedures for data management, such as data quality, security and access control. It also includes setting data standards, establishing Data Governance roles and responsibilities.
- To implement tools and technologies means to adopt the right technology solutions to support the Data Governance, such as data catalogues, data quality tools and data security solutions. And, of course, this includes providing training and support to staff.
- To monitor and enforce compliance means to regularly monitor compliance with Data Governance policies and procedures and enforce compliance when necessary. This includes monitoring data quality, tracking data access and usage, and conducting regular audits. It is also crucial to have a plan for dealing with violations so that they can be quickly addressed and corrected.
- Monitor and evaluate the program: Implementing a Data Governance program needs time and it should be seen as a continuous process. The final step is indeed to monitor and evaluate the strategy on an ongoing basis. This includes tracking progress against objectives, measuring performance indicators, and conducting regular audits. In this way organizations can make sure that it is working as intended and can make necessary adjustments if it isn’t.
The main Challenges
Implementing a Data Governance program can bring many benefits, however, as with any significant change, there will be challenges to overcome.
Here we have the most common challenges organizations may face:
- Resistance to change: Some employees may be reluctant to the changes required to implement data governance, particularly if it requires them to change their existing work processes or learn new skills. It is important to clearly communicate the benefits of Data Governance and involve employees throughout the entire process.
- Limited resources: The implementation of the strategy may require significant investments in technology and personnel. Organizations should carefully assess their resources and prioritize the most critical areas of Data Governance to ensure that they can achieve their goals within their budget constraints.
- Difficulty in measuring success: It can be challenging to measure the success of your Data Governance. The benefits may not be immediately evident, also it may take time to see the results. To justify the investment, organizations should therefore establish clear metrics for measuring success and track progress over time.
Consequently, redefining your data strategy turns out to be a complex process that requires both a deep understanding of the data landscape and the implementation of the latest technologies and best practices.
Working with experts can help you navigate this process and achieve your goals more quickly and efficiently.
At LARUS we have extensive experience helping organisations in facing their data transformation. We understand the challenges they face and have the expertise and technology to help overcome them.
By working with us, you can be confident that your Data Governance program will be tailored to your specific needs and resources, and that you will receive the support and guidance you need to achieve your goals more quickly and efficiently.
Data Governance is a key asset that organizations can use to drive their business growth.
By implementing it, companies can ensure that their data is accurate, reliable, and accessible, which leads to better decision-making processes, improved operational efficiency, and enhanced customer satisfaction.
Moreover, by complying with regulatory requirements and taking actions to prevent data breaches, organizations can mitigate financial and reputational risks.
However, implementing Data Governance is not an easy task and requires a strong commitment from management and employees, as well as a clear evaluation of the organization’s data needs and goals. Therefore, it is fundamental to be supported by experts capable of helping companies navigate the complexities of data.
It goes without saying that choosing the right professionals is indeed the first and most important choice you will take for your data transformation.