98% of business technology professionals believe that data governance is important to their organization, according to the state of data governance report conducted by UBM, sponsored by Erwin. However, 46% of those surveyed did not have a formal data governance strategy.

Even as organizations recognise the value of data, building an organization-wide data governance strategy presents itself as a mammoth task. Depending on the nature of business, size, location etc., organizations face various challenges in developing a suitable data governance program.

Are any of these challenges plaguing your data governance initiative?

Mistaking data governance as a technology initiative

As a result of data being owned by the IT, data governance initiatives often begin there. However, this poses the fundamental problem of disregarding the needs of those for whom this data is useful — the business user.

A good data governance program begins with building a business case, with the IT enabling it.

Siloed approach to data

Business and IT teams within an organization tend to work in their own siloes, without realizing the lost potential of collaboration. This leads to various assumptions on either side.

Bringing both parties to the table is the obvious next step of developing a data governance program.

Policy paralysis

When any task becomes too tedious to perform, people begin to use shortcuts. IT and data policies tend to focus on rules and structures rather than ease of use. Coupled with the lack of clear communication between IT and business, needs and accesses stand at loggerheads.

A good data governance programwill pivot on the needs of the business teams and accommodate the constraints of the IT teams.

Volatile standards and compliance requirements

Based on the industry, location, service offered, data collected etc. a wide variety of laws and compliance requirements apply. The GDPR now makes it mandatory for businesses to appoint a Data Protection Officer, who will be accountable for data governance as a whole.

Whether or not it applies to your business, a data governance program needs to be clear enough with boundaries, it should also be flexible enough to adapt to the fast-paced world.

Data redundancy

Redundant data not only misguides the users but also challenges the data management program.

A robust data governance program will identify unnecessary data and dispose of it securely.

Not having the necessary means

Often, organizations don’t have the necessary means to implement a data governance program — typically, they do not have the people to strategize and execute a technological transformation of this scale. Sometimes, their data might be in various formats, stored in multiple locations, without version control or any organized oversight.

A successful data governance program needs the right team of people — strategists, implementers, problem-solvers, big-picture thinkers, sticklers for details etc.

In addition, a successful data governance program also needs the framework that anticipates challenges and mitigates them. I&I Software’s 3-phase data governance approach is one such framework. We have strengthened it with learnings from our various data governance projects and operationalized it to be applicable to business of any size, location or industry.

We discuss the details of our 3-phase approach to data governance program here.

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