The formalized management of information across an organization is known as data governance. This encompasses the administration of certain processes, or controls, to ensure that data quality is improved. Through this quality control, organizations become more efficient as they can handle all their information and data-related assets in a formal manner. There are pre-agreed models of data governance in place whereby assessing, monitoring, improving, maintaining and managing information in an organization becomes easier to implement.

While data governance initiatives in an organization are commonly driven by the goal of achieving improved data quality, they can also be implemented in order to meet external regulations. Because data is subject to some of these external regulations, for instance the Sarbanes-Oxley act, organizations need a proper management system in place to oversee compliance.

With the changing face of data utilization in today’s world, from unstructured content to audio and video, there is an ever growing need to govern the access to information. Beyond protecting their data, companies have to formulate a winning structure for data governance that will ensure that they have true control over their data and data assets. For improved business performance, it is pertinent that data delivers business value. To achieve this end, developing a formal data governance strategy is the first step.

Data Governance Strategy

In order to ensure that everyone in an organization has access to consistent, relevant and accurate information, it is paramount that a sound data governance strategy be in place. The strategy has to be practical, comprehensive, and well-formulated. By fixing the basic causes of poor data quality, doing a clean-sweep of available data and uniting the organization on a focused data governance pathway, the strategy can sharpen the company’s competitive edge. The key to successful development of a data governance strategy would be serious collaborative efforts between the information technology teams and management level-executives, as well as all business users in the organization.

Data Governance Best Case Practices

After an organization develops a data governance strategy, the next step is to implement it across all levels. In a fast-paced business environment that thrives on the management of large amounts of data, implementing and maintaining a data governance program is no easy feat. Therefore, it helps to learn from other companies’ best case practices and internalize them if they are relevant to the organization.