The Importance of Data Governance

The Importance of Data Governance

The Importance of Data Governance

Data governance has gained prominence over the past few years as a key aspect of doing business across various sectors. It refers to the overall management of the availability, usability, integrity, and security of the data employed in an enterprise. It is a key aspect of quality control which ensures that companies have reliable and consistent data sets to assess performance and make management decisions.

“Data governance is a set of controls and standards that ensures that your data assets are formally managed throughout the enterprise. So, what we’re talking about here is understanding the data flow processes, business rules, data definition and ensuring that they’re correctly applied.  The key driver behind data governance is to ensure we trust our data model.  By far, the main thing that people say to me is ‘We need to ensure that we have data integrity.”  Sam Vadodaria

Why is data governance ignored?

More often than not, this critical aspect of the data collection and handling process is overlooked, in favour of the aspects that generate fast, tangible results. Unfortunately, this is akin to putting so much emphasis on the main structure of a magnificent edifice because it is visible to the world, but ignoring the foundation which lies covered by the ground because it largely remains unseen.

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To address this issue, we are going to do a short expose on why data governance is important to you as a business executive, and why the success of your company depends, to a very large extent, on the accuracy and fidelity of data availed, to inform and back up business decisions.

“A lot of BI projects fail because they focus on technology. So, if we think about Microsoft’s Power BI tool, it’s evolving into a very good BI tool.  But, that alone across your business is nothing more than Excel on steroids! It doesn’t mean that you’re going to be making any better decisions based on anymore trusted data than you were with Excel.  It may look easier.  It may offer you a bit more interactivity, and it may be able to be delivered on an iPad but, without trust in that data, businesses can still be making the wrong decisions, and certainly losing trust from the people that use that data” Matt Simpson

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Business Intelligence (BI) has grown in leaps and bounds in the past few years of the last decade. To define it in a simplistic manner, BI refers to the deployment of technology and attendant tools to avail and analyse data which is used in the making of business decisions. Business intelligence centers of excellence have gained traction as a key department in the structure of any corporation worth its salt. With the market moving towards automation and self-service to reduce the human interaction element in most transactions, thus making it faster and more efficient, data governance is set to play an even bigger role in the day to day running of businesses than ever before.

Data governance is a system, made up of many parts which ultimately come together to form the foundation of sound business decisions. Each business therefore needs to put in place its own system, which governs data collection and utilisation in a manner that advances the goals and objectives of the enterprise. Failure to do so can result in confusion and inefficacies in the business environment. To quote one industry expert, Gary Nuttall, in a recent interview, “Data Governance is critical to the success of BI and analytics.

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