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Data Governance – Why does it matter?

Data Governance is not a stimulating subject for businesses to consider, however when you delve a bit deeper, one can see just how important, useful and ultimately time and cost efficient it is.

With ever growing amounts of data, and an unprecedented appetite for information, it is imperative that organisations maintain a level of data quality and integrity that supports an organisation’s needs.

But how can one ensure that data quality is at the forefront of an organisation’s mind…. A Data Governance Charter can help.  Putting in place a data governance charter will help you to improve the quality of your data and define the processes used to handle data. It will also provide a robust foundation moving forward and underpin future strategies ensuring that data quality doesn’t need to be reviewed on a constant basis.

Poor quality data can cost organisations £000’s in lost revenue.  Whether you consider the time spent on “cleaning” the data, a project or tool to improve quality or taking business changing decisions based on inaccurate data, the cost to an organisation can be huge.  In fact, it is generally accepted by analysts that any data governance/data quality will repay itself more than fivefold in just a few years.  This is a massive saving.

So, what is Data Governance and how do you define it? Simply put, Data Governance is a process that manages, standardises, controls and ultimately delivers quality data and how one defines it depends very much on the organisation and its structure.

Many early Data Governance initiatives stemmed from regulatory requirements, such as Basel II and Sarbanes Oxley, however more and more organisations are realising the benefits of implementing a data governance charter across the entire business. Data is considered the single most valuable asset of any organisation and not protecting it, or ensuring that it is “fit for purpose” is in the opinion of the author – foolhardy.  Implementing a data governance strategy will manage, control, define, deliver and monitor your data, its quality and any of the process associated with the management of data, key components of accurate decision-making.

InforData believes that as with many other pillars of Data Management, the key to a successful Data Governance programme is People.  Depth of understanding of the data management process, the data itself and the business processes are vital components, as is the appointment of data stewards and data owners.  It is these 2 roles that will pull together all the different facets of an operation to deliver the charter, spread across the business, it is these roles that can and probably should form the basis of an organisation’s Competency Centre (BICC).

Putting together the elements of the Data Governance Charter can be a daunting task.  Understanding and identifying the needs and requirements can be far-reaching and complex, but essentially the aim of Data Governance is simple.  Manage, own, control, monitor and meet quality targets for your data.

InforData Consulting specialise in putting together Data Governance Charters and can assist you with any aspect of the process, be it in an advisory capacity or a more practical role.


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