Data is an essential business asset for any organization, regardless of size or industry. There are countless ways organizations can leverage their data assets to gain a competitive advantage and offer greater value. However, regardless of business size, any success is predicated upon data consumers fully understanding what data means from a business context and the ability to accurately gauge the quality of data. This is true for both the IT department and for business users across every line of business and department.
If data is not accurate, trustworthy and properly managed, it can quickly deteriorate from a competitive advantage to an underlying liability for the business. When data is untrustworthy, data users may hesitate to leverage those assets for analysis, preventing the extraction of analytical insights that support critical business decisions. Even worse, making decisions based on untrustworthy data can lead to missed opportunities, operational miscues, unsatisfied customers, decreased revenue and reputational damage.
Realizing maximum returns on data requires a complete understanding of it from a business context. To maximize the value of data and establish widespread data understanding from an operational perspective, organizations need data governance to improve their data’s integrity, usability and reliability, and to ensure data remains beneficial to the business.
Generally speaking, data governance is the formal orchestration of people, processes, and technology to enable an organization to leverage their data as an enterprise-wide business asset. Fundamentally, it is about increasing the understanding of data to serve the requirements of everyone in an organization. A data governance program should cultivate a culture of open communication and collaboration among diverging lines of business and IT resources.
Data governance can break down the communication barrier between IT and business by engaging all parties across the enterprise to create an inventory of available data, designate data owners and stewards, track data lineage and usage, and clearly define data, business terms, synonyms and business attributes. By providing a comprehensive picture of an organization’s data environment, business users can quickly identify the risks associated with data usage across various business applications, gain valuable insights about customers and achieve operational efficiency across the enterprise.
In addition, data governance can assess and score data quality levels across the entire data supply chain, increasing business user trust of data to enhance business decisions and improve outcomes. Machine learning algorithms can then be layered into data governance to automatically detect potential data defects and continuously monitor for data integrity improvement.
Successful data governance requires more than just spreadsheets and disparate tools. It requires a comprehensive solution suite to maximize the potential of an organization’s data assets.
To ensure successful data governance, organizations need a comprehensive solution suite with three critical capabilities.
By integrating varied tools, the solution suite can foster a complete understanding of an organization’s data history, enabling data owners, stewards and consumers to effectively manage, share, and utilize data to create a positive business impact.
If you would like to learn more about data governance and why it’s important for business, download the data sheet below.
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