Is Data Governance in your Data Strategy?
What makes a data strategy?
The definition varies among organisations, but it can generally be defined as having robust processes, tools, and resources to manage the collection, storage, transformation, usage, and retention of data to meet the organisation’s business goals. Gartner defined data strategy as “A highly dynamic process employed to support the acquisition, organisation, analysis, and delivery of data in support of business objectives” 1.
What initiatives should you execute in data strategy?
Do you consolidate your data from multiple sources into a single source of truth? Or do you consolidate the various reports in the organisation into a single standardised reporting platform? Should you implement dashboards and analytical tools to generate insights for the business?
These initiatives mainly revolve around transformation of the data environment or architecture in an organisation, providing direct benefit to the business. Consolidation of data into a single source of truth creates data consistency, which enhances confidence in reports. Implementing dashboards and analytical tools enables easy access to information for quick business decision-making, allowing businesses to react quickly to economic changes.
How do we know if data is consistent throughout the transformation journey?
How do we safeguard that only relevant data are exposed to the right users? Is there a process to ensure only good quality data is stored and processed? Are we compliant to regulatory standards related to data quality, protection, and privacy?
These are among the “silent” data governance questions, which are often not clearly mentioned, but are equally important in a data strategy execution. Similar to an iceberg, the usage of data for analytics, reporting and dashboarding, is the tip of the iceberg, while data governance is the portion of the iceberg right under the ocean surface. It is not often “visible” but plays a crucial role in enabling the other functions in the data ecosystem. It keeps the iceberg floating in the ocean.
Data is the raw input required to execute data strategy initiatives, hence sound data governance ensure the data is well managed, protected, are of high quality, and accessible to the business. This enables organisations to see results from their investments in implementing data strategy initiatives.
Now if your organisation is embarking on its data strategy development journey, will Data Governance be a part of it?