Data governance should be a top priority for every organization because of the risks and rewards directly associated with it. Poor data governance can lead to performance issues, lawsuits, and fines. More importantly, poor data governance leads to increased cybersecurity risks and breaches.
Data governance is an organizational framework that should include data rules, role delegation, and specific policies for various data processes. With so many different views on data governance, it’s understandable that companies often make mistakes that could easily be avoided if they better understood what mistakes to avoid in the first place.
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To better understand what a successful data governance strategy looks like, let’s take a closer look at five dangerous data governance mistakes your business should avoid.
Top 5 Data Governance Mistakes
Silo data governance efforts
In 2008, Gartner first introduced its Data Governance Maturity Model. Since then, other organizations like IBM have introduced similar maturity models. These maturity models are still relevant today because they cover the number one mistake organizations make when deploying data governance programs: siled data governance policies and programs.
The lower levels of these models are reserved for organizations that do not have a data governance program and are unaware of the risks and benefits of having one. The second level of maturity and awareness reveals a common mistake among organizations: deploying the program only at the IT level. The final and higher tiers are for companies that have installed a holistic and effective data framework with strategies, policies, and designated roles across the organization.
For an effective data governance strategy, data governance policies and procedures must permeate all departments, roles and responsibilities of a business. IT cannot be the sole arbiter of governance success
Misalignment of data governance and business plans
Organizations that limit their data governance programs to technology, compliance, and data management often fail to align data governance initiatives with other business goals, significantly limiting their chances of success. For senior executives and decision makers, it’s not always easy to visualize the connection between business results and how they manage data. Data governance should be a top-down initiative that includes all organizational levels.
by Gartner Seven foundations for modern data and analytics governance explains that aligning data and analytics governance with business outcomes is imperative. How companies manage data should tie directly to business strategies and priorities, says Gartner.
Data governance shouldn’t just be about data, but about how to support business outcomes and align with business priorities. To avoid making an alignment error, make sure your organization places business plans and existing needs at the center of its data governance program. Also, make sure senior management is involved in the program and that communication channels between all levels are working well.
Thinking big without implementing day-to-day tactics
Data governance programs can serve a variety of purposes: breaking down silos, improving data efficiency, complying with regulations, improving security, or even boosting sales. When deploying data governance programs, organizations often set ambitious goals and have big ambitions. And while big ambitions are great for data-driven approaches, data governance is a day-to-day job that takes a lot of time and human resources to maintain.
Setting short, medium, and long-term goals helps your team and workforce build confidence while comparing progress, adjusting, and making revisions. Remember to focus your energy on your quick wins and momentum, giving everyone involved a clear road map of the entire journey ahead.
People, process and technology – as in most technology sectors – are three of the most important elements of data governance. Make sure you hire the right workers and make sure they have the skills and tools they need to get the job done. Having transparent processes in place and having the best resources will keep their level of enthusiasm high throughout day-to-day governance tasks and long-term strategy.
Missing out on the right technology
Data governance is not just about all policies and strategies. Without the right technology and the right tools, a program is unlikely to succeed. Today, vendors and cloud providers offer a wide range of cutting-edge technologies with modern integrations purpose-built for data governance.
With services from leading companies like IBM, ASG Technologies, Talend, OneTrust, or Microsoft Azure, your organization can manage the entire data architecture, collecting, organizing, and analyzing data securely and efficiently.
These services have integrated machine learning, AI, and single-source-of-truth dashboards to improve predictive analytics, drive compliance, detect risk and irregularities, and increase visibility. The right technology can improve performance through intelligent automation and faster data management. The challenge is to find the right vendor for your technology, as you will share many responsibilities with them, such as data security.
Overlooking trust-based security
Another mistake organizations make is not recognizing the strong interconnection of data governance with security. Cybersecurity, at its core, is data protection, and active data governance has a significant impact on a company’s security posture. Data governance helps companies meet the regulatory standards of laws. Your business can stay on top of the rich data legal landscape, which includes laws such as the European General Data Protection Regulation as well as US federal and state laws such as the California Consumer Privacy Act, with good governance programs Datas.
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Additionally, data governance can provide an organization with better insight into risks, bugs, misconfigurations, weak processes, weak endpoints, and data vulnerabilities. Experience in data governance better prepares organizations for cyberattacks, especially as these attack vectors evolve.
Your company’s data governance program should directly reflect the values of your organization and its employees. Consumers, users, businesses and governments recognize that data is one of the most important business assets in our modern global society. Because of this understanding of the value of data, data governance decisions, actions, and compliance have the power to make or break your organization.
Having the right tools in place is one of the most important steps in combating typical data governance mistakes. Consider these top data governance tools if you’re looking to invest more in your company’s data strategy.