The Importance of Data Governance for Business

ProjectManager

Much as a librarian is responsible for organizing a large collection of books, organizations must have a set protocol for managing their business data. Not being able to find or protect data makes for a dangerous precedent. That’s why data governance is so important for any organization.

Regardless of the size of your business, or whether you’re working with a remote or hybrid team, the good health of your enterprise depends on the security and quality of your data.

What Is Data Governance?

Data governance provides an organization with a framework to make sure that its data is available, usable, consistent and secure. This includes creating data standards and processes that provide accountability to make sure data management is effective. The goal of data governance is to guarantee data security, data quality and regulatory compliance.

Data governance is holistic in that it involves the people, processes and information technology department of an organization. It is tasked to create consistent use of data across the whole enterprise. To do this, a data governance strategy implements practices to make sure the data is managed as an asset and is made into meaningful information.

What Is a Data Governance Strategy?

A data governance strategy determines how data is defined, stored and accessed in an organization. Therefore creating a data governance strategy means building a data management framework that sets requirements, procedures, roles and responsibilities for the whole data life cycle.

Data governance is a serious business that requires strict quality control. ProjectManager is a cloud-based work and project management software with custom workflows, approvals and task automations that make sure everything is done correctly and the right people are approving it. Set up triggers and actions to automate busy work and focus on what matters. Get started with ProjectManager today for free!

ProjectManager's kanban board
Build workflows and automation for better quality management with ProjectManager. Learn more

Data Governance Roles

Of course, a data governance strategy won’t execute itself. That’s when the data governance team members come in. Here’s a quick overview of the main roles involved in creating and managing a data governance model.

  • Chief Data Officer: A Chief Data Officer or head of data management oversees data governance programs at an executive level. The CDO’s main responsibilities include setting up the data governance framework and securing funding and staffing for the program.
  • Data Owner: Data owners are in charge of collecting and defining data requirements for specific areas of responsibility within an organization. Then they communicate those requirements to data stewards, who then monitor the data life cycle.
  • Data Steward: The data steward makes sure the established data management standards and requirements set by data owners are being followed. This person will also monitor the process and suggest improvements as needed, often with the help of project management software for information technology. Their role can be split into business data stewards and technical data stewards.
  • Data Architect: Data architects create data models and define how data is stored, accessed and integrated by IT systems based on the directions of data owners and data stewards.
  • Data Quality Manager: As his name suggests, the data quality manager handles all the issues related to data quality, such as quality metrics, methods, standards and approaches. They work closely with data owners and stewards.
  • Data Documentation Manager: The data documentation manager documents everything about the data governance framework including data requirements, standards, roles and responsibilities.

Data Governance Principles

These data governance principles apply to any data governance strategy and they act as rules for effective data management.

Accountability

To ensure that the data is being governed to support business goals there must be accountability. Data governance systems don’t just turn on and work without oversight. There must be data owners and data stewards designated to manage, monitor and report on the quality of information.

Transparency

In data management, transparency consists in building a framework in which information flows clearly to the team members so that they’re aware of any changes.

In data governance, there should also be a baseline to measure against. Without a baseline, any reference is not anchored to context and therefore cannot be useful in terms of transparency or coming up with improvements. A good way to think of data governance is to liken it to quality control, both of which can play an important role in total quality management.

Regulation Compliance

There can also be the risk of the regulatory infractions. Fines of such a nature can only be avoided when there’s transparency in the data to help steer the organization on the right side of what could be complicated legal boundaries.

Data Stewardship

The data steward is mainly responsible for making sure that the quality of data remains high, which means accurate, accessible, consistent, complete and updated. The data steward doesn’t have to be an individual, but a team assigned with the task of maintaining the data governance.

The team is usually made up of database administrators, business analysts and other personnel who understand the context of data within the organization. The data steward works with people who manage the overall data life cycle to make sure the data conforms to the organization’s data governance policies.

Data Quality Standards

Data quality is the driver for most data governance tasks. Quality means accuracy, completeness and consistency over the whole data structure of the organization. Part of data quality is data scrubbing or data cleansing, which identifies, correlates and removes duplicated data.

Maintaining the data quality of any data governance plan requires data editors, data mining tools, data differencing utilities, data linking tools, workflow and project management tools.

Data Governance Tools

Software tools can help your company execute good data governance practices. Check out this brief list below of some of the more common data governance software.

  • Azure Purview: Azure Purview is a Microsoft product that provides unified data governance. It can automate data discovery, provide a unified map of your data assets and more.
  • Collibra: Collibra is a tool designed to align your team with accurate data. It’s scalable, on the cloud with intuitive workflows and open and flexible architecture that connects data apps.
  • SAP Master Data Governance: SAP Master Data Governance is an app for data management that creates a cohesive master data strategy across your domains. It simplifies enterprise data management, increases data accuracy and reduces costs.

Benefits of Data Governance

There are many goals that are defined through data governance and travel overall points of the business. The larger goal is to help those in the organization accept the process of data governance. Some of the benefits are outlined below.

Informed Decision-Making

Good data governance will help with decision-making. It will make decision-makers more confident because they are basing decisions on consistent and reliable data.

Regulation Compliance

There can also be the risk of the regulatory infractions. Fines of such a nature can only be avoided when there’s transparency in the data to help steer the organization on the right side of what could be complicated legal boundaries.

Security

One of the main goals of any data governance plan is security. That includes defining and verifying the requirements for data distribution policies, but also maintaining vigilance against outside cyber-attack, inside equipment failure or crashes that could compromise sensitive data. This should all go into a business continuity plan, which no company should be without.

Profitability

It’s no secret that data can be monetized, and data governance helps to make the most of that potential income. There’s always a potential for the data of one’s company to make money, and that potential is more likely realized via effective data governance.

Accountability

To ensure that the data is being governed to support these goals and others, there must be accountability. Systems don’t just turn on and work without oversight. There must be someone who is designated to manage, monitor and report on the quality of information.

Efficient Maintenance

Data must be managed to achieve any goal. Therefore, having a data governance plan in place helps to give supervisors the means to deliver on whatever goals the organization has decided upon. Naturally, any data governance plan should be efficient. This avoids having to tread the same road twice or reworking something that has not been completely thought through.

Availability

Having data available to all who need it in an organization will also make for better, more productive employees. The fewer hurdles they must clear, and the more secure and accurate the data, the better the work that results from it.

Measurability

In data governance, there should also be a baseline to measure against. Without a baseline, any reference is not anchored to context and therefore cannot be useful in terms of coming up with improvements. A good way to think of data governance is to liken it to quality control, both of which can play an important role in total quality management.

Data governance is a discipline that helps companies assess, manage, use, monitor, improve, maintain and protect data. Data governance has its own intrinsic goals to decide on agreed-upon rights and accountability of information-related processes.

Implementation of Data Governance

The first step in implementing data governance in any organization is deciding on the owner of the process, the custodian who will oversee it, otherwise known as the data steward. This person or team will help define processes to store, archive, back up and protect the data from either internal issues, theft or attack.

A set of standards and procedures are developed to figure out how the data is used by authorized personnel. Also, a set of controls and audit procedures are put in place to make sure oversight is ongoing and compliant with company and governmental policy.

An Ongoing Process

Data governance isn’t a one-time solution, but a process that is constantly being monitored, reported on and improved to stay updated with technological, regulatory and industry standards.

In order to accomplish all this, a team is assembled to implement policies and procedures for handling data. The team can be made up of a variety of individuals, from business managers to data managers as well as other staff and even relevant end-users.

How ProjectManager Helps With Data Governance

ProjectManager is award-winning work and project management software that can help you manage data governance and find risks, issues and threats faster. Our cloud-based tool is collaborative at its core connecting your hybrid teams with multiple project views to help them no matter where or how they work.

Build Data Governance Plans on Gantt Charts

Before you can manage your data you need to implement your data with a Gantt chart. Our interactive Gantt chart collects all your essential tasks to better implement your data governance. You can link dependencies, set milestones to help you track progress and even filter for the critical path. Once done, set your baseline to monitor variance and make sure you’re always on track.

ProjectManager's Gantt chart

Track Your Plans in Real Time

Once you have your data governance implemented you’ll need to track progress and its effectiveness. Our real-time dashboards make sure everything is addressed in a timely fashion, automatically capturing project information, crunching the numbers and displaying the results in colorful charts that monitor six metrics. Track progress, performance and can help you spot issues and address them before they become problems. You don’t even have to set up the dashboard. It’s ready when you are.

ProjectManager’s dashboard view, which shows six key metrics on a project

Build Reports in Seconds for Better Management

Our one-click reports go even deeper into the data. All reports can be filtered to focus on only that data you want to explore to seek out opportunities for improvements or simply keep your stakeholders updated. It’s easy to share reports as PDF attachments or even printed out.

ProjectManager's status report filter

Data governance relies on one source of truth. Our software keeps all project views updated in real time so everyone is always working with the most current data. Email notifications and in-app alerts foster collaboration and keep everyone up-to-date. Data governance is important and the tools you use are just as important.

Data is the lifeblood of any organization. It must be cared for securely but also shared within the proper channels easily. That’s a complex project, one that needs tools up to the task. ProjectManager is a cloud-based project management software that allows you to plan, track and report on your data governance. Try it today for free with this 30-day trial.

Related Posts

Deliver your projects
on time and under budget

Start planning your projects.

Start free trial