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Increasing amounts of data require holistic governance


Effective governance also enables companies to implement and manage internal policies and standards related to data security and use. This not only supports the company’s response to external compliance directives, but also standardizes the data for use across the company. Standardized data provides the “single source of truth” needed for critical business decisions, as well as the data quality and confidence teams need to get their work done.

Data Governance Challenges

On the surface, implementing data governance may seem obvious and straightforward, but the act of governing data across company teams and products introduces a level of complexity that many companies half-heartedly try to address or avoid altogether.

Instilling the processes, policies and protections of governance requires new ways of thinking around people, processes and technology. “It’s not the runtime activity that convinces someone not to govern,” Syed said. “It’s all the work needed to establish governance.”

For many, the approach to data governance is to develop policies that are overseen by various parts of the business, which makes implementation more difficult. “Think about all the different teams doing this in a large organization,” Syed explained. “They all have to do dependency checks, and each team is also doing separate development work to meet those requirements, which is a lot of duplication.”

Siloed data governance initiatives require each team to monitor their own data dependencies, which also takes time and effort to complete other work. “Innovation becomes troublesome because at every step of innovation, you have to check your governance strategy for dependencies,” Syed said.

A siloed approach also introduces the potential for error and makes it harder to ensure consistent adherence to all governance policies in all situations. These barriers can lead to a lack of support from employees and stakeholders, undermining any realized data governance benefits.

Joint Governance Solutions

In many companies, data is considered an IT asset, and therefore an IT responsibility. While this may have been the case in the past, today’s volume and velocity of data, and the innovative ways companies use it, means that data is the responsibility and driving force of all business units.

To build an effective data governance program to serve all areas of the business, it is best to centralize the framework to reduce errors and reduce duplication of effort. “For joint teams to successfully apply data management rules and governance, you can’t just set a policy and then have each team go and build the technology to enforce it,” Syed said. A centralized approach to monitoring is less complex, favors data consistency and accuracy, and is more easily transparent, all of which contribute to stakeholder buy-in. “If you have a centrally managed data platform, a centrally managed data ingestion pipeline, and a centrally managed data policy, then you just change [the data] In one place,” explained Syed. This ensures that data remains compliant, secure and consistent wherever it is used.

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