When you spend long enough writing and working in any industry, you inevitably see trends emerge and reach varying levels of maturity. Data governance is one such trend, as you can see from the following Google Trends chart:
When I started writing about data quality best practices back in 2008, it’s fair to say that data governance was barely mentioned in corporate circles. My first introduction to data governance probably came from the Data Governance Institute created by Gwen Thomas. Then over time – slowly, as the chart above demonstrates – we witnessed the rise of data governance as a discipline. Now, of course, it is far more than a discipline. It is an entire industry with a whole technology, events, training and career ecosystem emerging.
It would be easy to think that data governance has somehow superseded or overtaken data quality in importance. So, how does data quality fare in the eyes of Google Search?:
To some, it would appear that data quality as a discipline is on the slide. Some might say it’s had its day and is being usurped by data governance, perhaps. But we need to overlay the charts to show a more accurate view of search behavior:
Now we get a clearer picture.
Yes, data governance is growing in search behavior – but the search traffic is still below that of data quality.
Will data governance overtake data quality? Yes, possibly. But another thing to consider is that as more organizations begin to implement data governance, what is the first obstacle they will have to overcome? A constant need for robust data quality management.
I see data governance and data quality management in simple terms. I’ve used the HR analogy in the past. But I think a military analogy works well regarding the link between data governance and data quality.;