Data governance refers to an organization's policies, procedures, and standards to manage its data assets. Data governance ensures that data is accurate, consistent, and secure, allowing the company to make informed decisions based on reliable information. Data governance also defines roles and responsibilities for individuals within the company involved in data management, establishes data quality metrics, and provides guidelines for data protection and privacy.
What should be in a data governance policy?
- Purpose Statement
The purpose statement is the backbone of a data governance policy. It outlines the main goals and objectives of the policy and clarifies the intent behind the policy.
- Data Ownership and Roles
A data governance policy defines the ownership and roles of individuals responsible for managing and maintaining data. It is important to define roles and responsibilities clearly to ensure everyone understands their role in managing data.
- Data Classification and Security
A data governance policy outlines the classification of data and the different levels of security protocols that need to be in place based on that classification. This includes defining what data is confidential, sensitive, or public and outlining who has access to each data type.
- Data Quality and Standards
A data governance policy outlines the data quality standards expected of the organization. These standards should cover data entry, data formatting, and data accuracy, among other factors. Defining these standards ensures that the organization makes informed business decisions based on accurate data.
- Data Lifecycle Management
A data governance policy includes defining data lifecycle management, from creation through disposal. It outlines the protocols for managing data, including data retention periods, archiving, and data destruction.
7 Benefits of Data Governance
Implementing data governance policies and procedures can provide significant benefits for your company. Some of these benefits include:
- Improved data quality
Data governance ensures that data is accurate, consistent, and up-to-date, improving its usefulness for decision-making and analysis.
- Enhanced compliance
Data governance ensures that your company complies with applicable laws, regulations, and industry standards regarding data management and privacy, such as GDPR and PHIPA.
- Increased efficiency
Data governance establishes clear roles and responsibilities for data management, reducing confusion and duplication of effort.
- Improved decision-making
Data governance ensures that the data used for decision-making is accurate and reliable, increasing the confidence and accuracy of decisions made by your company.
- Enhance the value of data
Data governance ensures that your company's data is high-quality and useful, increasing its value as a strategic business asset.
- Mitigate risk
Data governance reduces the risk of data breaches, data loss, and non-compliance with applicable laws and regulations.
- Facilitate change
Change management can be easily brought about by creating a concrete understanding of data and its associated risks.
Best Practices for Implementing Data Governance
To implement data governance effectively, keep the following best practices in mind:
- Identify important data assets and classify them according to their sensitivity
Data governance policies and procedures should be prioritized by the level of sensitivity and mission criticality.
- Establish clear roles and responsibilities for data management
Clearly define the expectations for individuals engaged in data management, and provide training where necessary.
- Develop data quality metrics
Develop specific metrics to measure data quality, accuracy, and completeness.
- Regularly review and update data governance policies and procedures
Data governance should be an ongoing process that is reviewed and updated as needed to reflect changes in technology or the company's needs.
By following best practices and investing in data governance, you can improve data quality, enhance compliance, increase efficiency, improve decision-making and mitigate risk. So, if you don't have a data governance program in place, it's time to take action to establish one to unlock your company's full potential. Contact us if you need help.