Blog: A Guide to Data Governance
The term ‘governance’ has existed long before the advent of modern technology. Governance is best defined as the overarching system that combines ethics, compliance and laws to form how an organization or state is run.
Governance also exists in the digital space, which refers to the framework for establishing how a business will operate in the digital space and across digital platforms such as websites, social media and more.
In this article we will be focusing on data governance. We will explain data governance and showcase some of its key benefits. In addition, we will also be highlighting data governance in the Cloud and the various risk factors that come with it.
What is data governance?
Data governance can be defined as an approach to managing data during its life cycle. Data governance will determine how your organization will manage data from its creation or acquisition to how it will be used as well as how it will be stored and disposed of.
Regardless of the size of your organization, you must have a data governance policy in place to accurately ensure that every bit of data your company gathers follows the same procedures during its life cycle.
Data governance is essential for facilitating the use of Astrato’s data analytics software. Astrato utilizes live data to help businesses make informed, data-led decisions in real time. Organizations who use Astrato rely on the correct storing of data to produce accurate results. Failing to adhere to (or worse yet, failing to create) data governance guidelines will result in your company being unable to make informed, accurate data-driven decisions, as you might have misplaced vital customer data or failed to store it entirely.
What are the benefits of data governance?
Data governance plays a fundamental role in shaping the overall health of your business. Companies that fail to create data governance guidelines or protocols will often fall foul of data compliance legislation and are less able to take informed action when it counts.
Here are some the most significant benefits of data governance:
- Informed decision making
While employing a sufficient level of data governance throughout your organization allows all members of staff to access the correct data that they require, the real benefit of data governance is that it allows your employees to make informed, data-driven decisions.
Companies with great data governance know what data is stored, how long it will be stored, and of course, where said data is located. These fundamentals allow data teams to confidently and accurately use state-of-the-art data analytics software to help the company make timely market decisions that are backed up by data.
- Stay compliant
Maintaining a strong data governance allows your company to navigate the complex world of data compliance. Your company can avoid damaging PR and legal scandals by ensuring that any data gathered by your company is safely stored and, most importantly, kept up to date with the most recent regulations.
- Improve efficiency
Maintaining robust data governance practices allows your organization to be more efficient and spend less time on data administration duties.
Depending on the nature of your business, you can also give individual users the ability to access and manage their data in a secure manner. This form of data democratization has proven to be successful within the retail industry, where virtually every storefront will allow users to create an account to manage their personal information (data).
By allowing the end user to edit their own data, you can eliminate the need for your staff to create data on their behalf and use staff time more efficiently in other areas of the business.
- Earn the trust of your customers and peers
Strong data governance principles along with a stringent policy of access control can help your organization to protect itself from security breaches as well as to reduce the damage that any rogue individuals within the company might inflict.
Data governance can also help you win the trust of potential customers, suppliers and other peers who may fear that their personal data or trade information will be leaked if they were to do business with your company. While no system is completely fail-proof, robust data governance principles ensure that any data breaches or digital damage done to a company will be as minimal as possible.
Data governance in the Cloud
Data governance in the Cloud (or Cloud governance as it is also known) is similar to that of standard data governance, referring to a set of rules and policies that have been adopted by companies who run their services in the Cloud. Like non-Cloud-based data governance, Cloud governance aims to enhance data security, ensure compliance and reduce risk.
Due to its online nature, however, data governance in the Cloud is more complex and arguably more intrinsic to the success of a company as the data stored is more likely to be targeted by malicious third parties such as hackers.
Data governance in the Cloud also has to contend with additional complexities such as the use of encryption and security protocols, in order to ensure that data transferred to and from the Cloud has not been compromised.
As we have established, maintaining a robust set of data governance principles is key to your organization’s success. Being able to rely on the data that you’ve harvested is essential for any company that wishes to create accurate data analytics.
Book a demo with Astrato today and see how we can help your business to harness the power of your data.