Part 1 – Data Governance Defined
Data Governance: You’ve probably heard the buzz about this topic that is becoming a larger part of many IT conversations. But similar to the vague term “Big Data” these days, just what exactly is data governance? Is it a piece of software that one can simply buy off the shelf? And what are the benefits that one can expect to receive by implementing it?
Chances are that if you are reading this article you have some kind of data issue in your organization, and you are not alone. Data problems are costly in a variety of ways. For example, they can result in lost of potential sales due to incomplete customer demographic data. Or, they can cause an unnecessary expense, such as a sales return that resulted from an undeliverable address. Worst of all, a data problem can become systemic if the error is propagated throughout the enterprise via normal integration channels. A Data Governance program will be your strategy for finding data error, repairing these errors, and preventing them from occurring in the future. But more importantly, it will be an overarching set of policies and information management principles that apply to your entire enterprise.
It’s helpful to start by defining Data Governance. A quick internet search will retrieve a large number of definitions that all sound relatively familiar, but the common themes that run throughout all of them are:
- A data governance strategy is a set of policies and procedures that manage the quality of information assets
- Data governance is a program to manage information. It is an ongoing process that will change over time. It is not a one-time project (wishful thinking)
- Data is an enterprise asset. Like any other asset, it requires an investment in order to be maintained and improved
Data Governance, in summary, is your organization’s management strategy to meet data quality needs of final data users and consumers. It verifies that data meets your organization’s security requirements and ensures that it complies with any regulatory laws. It is the marriage of data quality, data management, and risk management principles. It is implemented via corporate policies, procedures, controls, and software.
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About Rich Hauser
Rich is a senior business intelligence consultant specializing in Enterprise Information Management. He has delivered customized SAP BusinessObjects solutions for customers of all sizes across a variety of industries. With Decision First Technologies, Rich utilizes SAP Data Services and SAP Information Steward.