Today, IT departments are completely overwhelmed with data. No matter the industry, big data translates into big headaches for those professionals tasked with managing a daily deluge of information. There is so much data being generated that it’s hard for one department to handle it all, yet most businesses hear the word “data” and automatically believe the responsibility falls solely on IT.
Compounding the situation is the fact that the IT department isn’t the primary consumer of organizational data. Of course, IT is intimately involved with data from an operational and oversight perspective, but it is principally business lines leveraging data to derive insights, improve the customer experience, and make strategic business decisions. IT is now inundated with varying requests from diverging lines of business regarding what their data means, where it resides, how to use it, etc.
Frustration then mounts among business users when IT cannot handle all their requests or are forced to wait weeks or even months to receive their requested information. As a result, users turn to bad data or gut feelings to make business decisions. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
Data governance is the formal orchestration of people, processes, and technology to enable an organization to leverage their data as an enterprise asset. Fundamentally, it is about increasing the understanding of data to serve the requirements of the organization. It can ensure all users have a firm understanding of data to battle the shifting tides of business policies and business alignment. By taking a collaborative approach to data governance that involves everyone, not just IT, organizations can equip business users with the resources they need and the tools to turn that data into actionable insights, while freeing up IT to manage tasks that require technical skills.
To be successful, organizations must build collaboration among data owners and data consumers to eliminate the ambiguity faced by business users as they rely on data to perform important business tasks. By engaging different departments and clearly defining roles and responsibilities among data owners, users and stewards, organizations can ensure business users have a full understanding of their data and can depend on it to develop strategies and formulate successful business plans.
However, when everyone in the organization already has responsibilities outside of managing data, asking them to also take on data governance can be a challenging task. Organizations need a solution suite to help them deliver a business-friendly perspective of their entire data landscape.
A collaborative data governance approach requires a solution suite that delivers an all-inclusive view of an organization’s data landscape, from data availability, its owner/steward, lineage, and usage, to its associated definitions, synonyms and business attributes. It should allow business users to easily define, track, and manage all aspects of their data assets, enabling collaboration, knowledge-sharing, and user empowerment through transparency across the enterprise.
The solution suite should encourage a community approach to bridge the business to technical divide by translating IT’s technical jargon into plain-spoken terms and bringing people and data together. By bridging this divide, collaboration can build trust among data producers, enablers, and consumers by clearly defining ownership and accountability for every data asset in the organization, so everyone knows what resource to access when they have pertinent questions about data, like, “How is it used?” “What is the definition?” “Is it high quality?”
The right solution suite combined with the right approach can ensure successful data governance and help organizations gain a step on their competitors.
To learn more about the fundamentals of optimal data governance, download the white paper below.
For a deeper dive into this topic, visit our resource center. Here you will find a broad selection of content that represents the compiled wisdom, experience, and advice of our seasoned data experts and thought leaders.