A data strategy unlocks the value of your data, data governance protects that value. Data is said to be the new oil. Data governance, therefore, is like the safety gear you’d wear when handling oil. It’s the equipment that will protect you if everything else goes up in flames. If you really want to optimise your organisation’s use of data, then getting your data governance in order is critical.
Using data, especially for the first time, often poses some unique challenges for businesses. An effective data governance strategy gives you an opportunity to get ahead of any problems and overcome them. Some common issues we’ve encountered include:
Working through each of these issues, a data governance strategy outlines the responsibility and ownership of data across an organisation. It also details how data is to be managed and secured, who has access, where data can be accessed and how it is to be processed, transferred, and tracked. In doing so, data governance sets a common standard across an organisation and helps build trust between teams, employees, and customers. It’s an incredibly important part of any company’s data use, especially with GDPR due to be enforced.
Cynozure recently worked with a logistics organisation that was trying to unite its many dispersed data sets. We found there was no single point where teams could access data. It was primarily held in data silos, on different systems and in various formats and quality. This posed a problem when employees wished to access and analyse data quickly. It also made combining and analysing many different data sources practically impossible.
We worked with the organisation to determine the right model for its master data. This helped to keep the data more consistent and gave teams more confidence in reporting and results obtained from the analysis. Additionally, dashboards were created that could be accessed by key stakeholders whenever they needed. This enabled decision-makers to see the complete picture of the organisation with just a click. The reports generated via this dashboard and other data analysis were also accurate representations of the business’ performance. This led to more accountability and more informed decision making.
With effective data governance in the process, there is nowhere to hide from the data. Instead of worrying that the data might be in inaccurate, the organisation’s leadership could now focus on growing the business and moving forward. Good data governance, therefore, played a massive part in this business achieving its objectives and goals. That’s a pretty big accolade.
Underpinning any good data governance strategy is the principle of creating trust in data. That is, trusting that the data is accurate, it is secure, it has been processed and cleaned correctly, that the right people have access to it, and that any results and insights that come from it are going to be true.
If you want to ensure accuracy and have faith in what your data is telling you, then you’re going to need data governance. Not all data governance is created equal, but by following the core principles outlined you’ll be able to craft an effective strategy for your business. Without data governance in place, eventually your data strategy will fall down. Take the time to get your data governance in place, and everything else will follow.
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