An Insight into Data Governance

Data governance has received a lot of focus in the industry because the concepts and methodologies of big data, data privacy, data security, regulatory compliance and quality management are now being revolutionized. There are several companies that implement data governance practices through data controls (an example of which is SOX controls), SDLC or Structured Development Life Cycle check points, architecture and design review board. In most cases, these activities are not handled in a consistent manner. This can be avoided if data governance is implemented because the techniques which are used then are consistent and serve as a standard.

Data governance techniques are difficult and cannot be easily grasped. Companies often haven to implement them several times before they achieve efficiency. The prime reasons behind this are poor management practices, lack of ownership, particularly in the topmost levels, poor strategies, financial limitations, and resistance to change.

Skimming the Basic Concepts

Data Ownership

If you ever ponder over data ownership in your firm, you would realize that it does not belong to any individual or department. It is actually an asset for the whole enterprise, and so is owned by the corporation itself.

In order to govern and control the organizational data, every company must associate their employees with specific roles and responsibilities. Since these individuals would then be handling the data, they should also have the power to make key decisions, such that business value is delivered.


In every organization, there are three main people, whose job is just to manage and govern the data. During this, they must also corporate with other employees who are involved in the process. As already mentioned, these people must be given the power to make decisions and they must be motivated enough to initiate change in the organization.

These three people are data trustee, steward and custodian. Their sole responsibility is to ensure that data governance procedures are followed by every employee in accordance to the data standards and policies.


In every business, data related issues arise frequently that focus on different aspects. Some of them might be related to quality and consistency while others might be addressing the definitions or efficiency. All these issues should be divided into respective categories and assigned to a specific governance boards so that they can be solved in a more effective manner.

Addressing the Solutions

Though many solutions exist for data governance, none of them is simple. The main concept used behind all of them is to categorize the issue as one of the most important priorities and systematically build the program. Only then can data governance be achieved.

As a general rule, the basics of data governance solutions for every firm remain the same. However, the overall implementation plan and execution steps vary from company to company, depending on the maturity of its data management methods and processes, the challenges which it faces in the process, the ease with which it can adopt new practices and the essential program components.

Further reading: Corporate Governance | Audit | Performance Improvement

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