Data governance has now become an important business function. One quick glance at Google and you’ll come across several fancy terms such as data quality, data ownership, data security and data warehouse- all indicating a dire need for businesses to invest in data governance.
Simply defined, data governance refers to a framework that defines your business objectives, aligns all your business strategies and establishes policies and rules for managing business data. As simple as it sounds, even the leading businesses have failed to implement a robust data governance framework primarily because of misinterpreting the term.
If you have recently established a business or are on a path of rapid growth and expansion, it is important to consider the meaning and importance data governance and devise a plan of action accordingly. Here are 5 common data governance mistakes you need to watch out for:
Failing to Understand the Term
Misinterpreting data management with data governance is one of the most common mistakes businesses make. Data governance refers to a policymaking framework for business data. Data management, on the other hand, is a detailed plan of execution for those policies. Both require careful planning. Whilst data governance is a business-driven process, data management concerns your IT functions. You must clearly understand the term data governance before considering anything else.
No Data Governance at all
Your company’s objectives and needs define your data policies and determine your data governance plan. This means that tailoring data governance to meet your company’s culture, decision-making process and organizational structure is critical. Designing data governance, in view of your business operations, helps you achieve your objectives. It also ensures that all key stakeholders will know what data governance will look like, even before it is launched.
Lack of Planning
A true visionary perceives the importance of data governance at the time of business launch. This prompts the owner to convene a meeting of data stakeholders in which all aspects of data are analyzed. These include guiding principles, decision rights and all governing bodies. However, if your key stakeholders and customers are not defined, none of the meetings will ever materialize into a concrete plan of action. Therefore, it is vital that your stakeholders design a data governance framework before any cross-functional council is considered. Proper planning and having a clear vision can ensure that for your business.
Taking Data Governance as a “Project”
When dealing with large volumes of complex data, many businesses get into frenzy and announce the launch of data governance as a “project”. This is the one aspect that they get wrong. Projects have a finite term, whereas data governance is a systematic and continuous project. With the changing volume and complexity of data, decisions on how to treat new data and who should have access to it will vary from time to time. This requires the data governance process to be formal and structured with room for further development, instead of being a one-off project.
Many at times, businesses assemble a team of IT and finance experts to function as data stewards who are required to identify high-impact data issues within their domains. While such a task force is good for brainstorming, it is only effective if they come with a plan to address the issues, not just identify them. And this forms an important function of data governance; that it should address, prioritize, and resolve the ever-increasing flood of data problems that are arising.
If you don’t have a data governance plan, then contact Synthesis today and develop a robust data management and reporting framework.