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data governanceIt does not matter how big or small your business is, you will be working with data including customer data. Data is very important to run a business. In fact, a business has to handle GBs of data on a daily basis. There is also a link between growth and data. Hence, data governance is of huge importance.

In some cases, businesses are not fully aware of the kind and amount of data they deal with on a regular basis. Consider cookies now. If you have a business, you will get access to a lot of customer data including location. Some of this data may get stored on your server and some may be saved temporarily. Whatever the case, it is still your responsibility.

Think of customer data. For example, let’s say you run a small food delivery service. You have to keep a record of private data including customer names, addresses, phone numbers, etc. 

Even a little mistake can lead to problems including wrong and delayed delivery. Plus, if you offer online payments, you will even have to deal with financial data that can be very important.

Thanks to growing regulations, it has become even more important to be careful about how and where you keep data. Data governance helps in this regard.

In this article, we’ll talk about data governance and its impact on business. Let’s get started:

What is Data Governance?

Data Governance Definition:

Data governance is defined as the management of the usability, integrity, security, and availability of data used in a business. A good data governance scheme includes a council or governing body that defines a set of procedures to ensure data management. It is also the responsibility of the council to come up with a plan to ensure the required procedure is correctly executed.

There are four pillars of data governance framework. These are: 

  • Data Stewardship 
  • Data Quality
  • Master Data Management
  • Use Cases

Let’s get to know all these data governance framework pillars in detail:

Data Stewardship:

The steward will be accountable for data. At the end of the day, data governance is not only about keeping data secure, it is also about ensuring it is consistent, complete, updated, and accessible.

Data Quality: The main driving force behind data governance is data quality. Completeness, consistency, and accuracy are the hallmarks of a successful initiative. 

Data cleansing, also popularly known as data scrubbing, is one of the most important parts of data quality. It includes identifying, correlating, and removing duplicate information.

Companies use a variety of methods and data governance tools to maintain the quality of data. These include data editors, linking tools, mining tools, etc.

Master Data Management: It refers to consistency when it comes to using data. This is of huge importance when data has to be shared among different departments and branches.

Metadata repositories are commonly used in establishing reference data in master data management programs. 

This discipline establishes a master reference so that there are no inconsistencies no matter where the data is being used.

However, MDM projects can encounter controversy since different departments in a business may have different views on how to best utilize and present data.

Use Cases: As mentioned earlier, data governance is very important for all businesses but it becomes even more valuable when it comes to acquisitions and mergers, legacy modernization, credit risk management, data warehouses, data lakes, business intelligence applications, analytics, regulatory compliance, and process management.

Thanks to the development of new technologies and expansion of data uses, data governance is becoming more and more important. 

How to Implement Data Governance

Implementation can be quite difficult especially if you haven’t dealt in data before. The first step is to define the custodians or owners of the data.

The next step is to define processes including how the data will be backed up, protected, archived, and stored so that it can remain protected against attacks and theft.

The team will have to develop a set of procedures and standards explaining how the data will and can be used. Moreover, audit procedures will have to be clearly defined. This is important as a lack of audit can lead to compliance issues. 

Once a strategy is in place, it is time to form policies. Data management teams are formed for this process. They usually comprise of not only data managers but also end users.

Some organizations such as the Data Governance Professionals Organization, the Data Governance Institute, and the Data Management Association are dedicated to promoting data governance and offer best practices to follow.

What Are the Benefits of Data Governance

Many companies already have some form of data governance for individual departments and applications but they lack a comprehensive program.

You will not be able to enjoy the benefits of data governance until you follow it properly.

Let’s have a look at the benefits of data governance:

  • Uniform, consistent processes and data are a prerequisite for more comprehensive and better decision support. Data governance improves the decision making process and ensures you make no mistake.
  • Scalability can be a major concern for a growing business. Data governance helps in this regard through clear rules for changing data and processes.
  • Increases efficiency by reusing data and processes. 
  • Central control mechanisms offer the opportunity to optimize the cost of data management. This is very important due to the increasing amount of data a business has to deal with.
  • Transparent and clear communication through standardization. This is one of the major prerequisites for enterprise-wide data-centric initiatives.
  • Keeps external and internal data safe and secure by reviewing and monitoring privacy policies.
  • Ensures you meet the changing data regulations.

All in all, data governance ensures you use data in the most efficient manner without having to spend a lot of money. It may look like an investment since you will have to buy data governance tools but it’s actually a cost-saving initiative.

Plus, data governance can even help businesses retain clients and find new buyers. Customers tend to trust companies that are serious about data management. They stay away from businesses that pay no attention to data security and management.

You can use this as a USP to reach a wider audience and highlight how you’re better than competitors.

Data Governance Tools

Scalable, open source tools are the best. They can be economically and quickly integrated with your existing environment making the process easier.

You can also opt for a cloud-based solution for more flexibility. Such tools are easy to use and more affordable as well. Plus, they remove the need to make additional investments, thus reducing overhead costs.

It is best to search the market and compare available options. The right data governance tool would allow you to:

  • Understand and Capture Your Data: The software must be able to perform these actions through profiling, benchmarking, and discovering tools and capabilities. For example, the tool must be able to identify relevant data and send a notification to you. 
  • Control Data: The tool must be able to give you the power and ability to control your data with a mix of reviewing and monitoring features.
  • Improve Data Quality: The tool must be able to improve the quality of your data with data enrichment, data cleansing, and data validation. Additionally, it should be able to sort data out.
  • Empower Users: The software must be able to make users feel empowered by contributing to data-related tasks. In fact, self-service tools can be very beneficial in this regard.
  • Document Data: The tool must be able to document your data to improve relevance, compliance, linkability, and accessibility. Plus, it should do it in an easy manner.

Try WinPure

Our tools can be very useful as they offer several benefits. 

Introduced in 2002, WinPure is among the most popular data cleansing and data management software. The recipient of several awards, it increases efficiency and ensures the data is accurate. 

It is affordable and suitable for all kinds of businesses. Plus, it can play a very important role in data governance. 

Moreover, you can start with a free trial to know more about WinPure and how it can benefit your business. Try our free trial today or order the software.

Some of its best features include: 

  • Intelligent data matching 
  • Word manager 
  • Gender and name splitting 
  • Address splitting 
  • Data matching reporting 
  • Data profiling
  • Automation

Contact us today and learn more about how our set of tools can benefit your business. 

Data Governance Is Not Optional

Data governance is no more optional. Instead, we can say that it is mandatory. After all, it is important to ensure you meet all the legal requirements and your business continues to run smoothly. 

Failure to take the right steps to manage and secure data can be a very costly mistake. In fact, companies have gone out of business for their failure to properly manage customer data.

Hospitals, for example, cannot operate if they mix up patient data. They have to keep every minor detail safe, secure, clean, and sorted to ensure the right care is provided to the right patient. 

Similarly, educational institutions have to be very careful as well. They use data to mark students and award scholarships, admissions, etc. Even a simple mistake can cause students to fail. It’s a huge responsibility.

If you’re still not sure about data governance or why it is important, talk to us. We’ll answer all your questions and tell you more about our special tools designed to help you manage data.

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