Data Governance: Addressing the Essentials

Your business data is one of the most important assets of your business, and as such you should treat it properly. Doing this would ensure high levels of customer satisfaction, an increase in your sales and more efficient processes. On the other hand, if you ignore it and do not handle it in the right way, you would suffer from poor operational control, bad decisions and ineffective marketing campaigns. All this would just help your business in plummeting at a rapid pace.

The best way to handle your data properly is to use data governance concepts. The processes involved help you manage all the important data but do not create a financial burden. The implemented governance strategies vary with every business, and so you must choose solutions that are tailored to your company’s individual needs.

Choosing what to govern and what not to

In every business operation, there are thousands of data elements that are processed on a daily basis. Sales orders, invoices, receipts, payments, there is just so much that you have to deal with. So what is worth controlling and what you should not? Obviously, governing every piece of data is next to impossible, so you should focus on all those elements that are critical for efficient business operations and are used in decision making. Examples of these are risk management, accounting and financial reports.

Every unit in your business can set up a local body for governing data, and all these local bodies can collaborate with each other to govern data at enterprise level.

Deciding whether to assign the job to the technical staff members or business minded individuals

There are several business owners who feel that data governance is a technical subject, and so assign the jobs to technical teams in their organization. But is that really so? If you take a look at history or analyze case studies, you would observe contradictions. Business minded individuals have deeper concepts of data management, and so put up a better performance. They understand modeling, reporting, decision making processes and risk management, which help them in making more advantageous decisions.

This is why you should assign business individuals the roles of data trustees and stewards because they have all the expertise that is needed in data governance. However, the custodian’s job can be given to the technical team so that they ensure that the right processes are implemented.

Selecting a Model

This is the most critical step which contributes to the success of your data governance program. Though, there are several approaches, you should use one that is a combination of bottom up and top down. Using either one of these would not give you impressive results.

Sustaining Data Governance

Once you have implemented a data governance model, you need to sustain it over the long run. You can do this by ensuring that your follow the industry standards at all times, by monitoring all policies and processes, and by continuously improving you operations. Alongside this, you should train your employees and conduct checkpoints at specific intervals to ascertain that the processes are smooth and efficient.

Further reading: Corporate Governance | Audit | Performance Improvement

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