Why A Data Governance Framework Is Essential In Executing Your Strategy
01 September, 2022
Henri De Bruine,
Director of Data & Analytics
at Decision Inc. UK
Without proper governance, your data strategy is a little more than a wish list.
Put your strategy into action with the right data governance framework.
Strategy without governance is nothing more than a wish list. Every day, businesses produce and collect massive amounts of data – more than ever before. This data is essential for making informed decisions, but it can only be used effectively if it’s properly governed. To ensure that your strategy is executed successfully, you need to put in place a data governance framework. This framework will help to align the data with the business goals and objectives. It will also mitigate the risks associated with data management. In this article, we will discuss why a data governance framework is vital for successful strategy execution. We will also look at some of the key components of a good governance framework. If you are looking to improve your strategy execution, read on!
1. The need for a data governance framework
Technology and data are at the forefront of the modern era. From healthcare to transportation to even our groceries, technology is transforming the way we live, and the way we do business. Businesses are struggling with data more than ever before. The volume of data is increasing at an exponential rate, making it difficult to sift through and extract valuable insights. Additionally, the siloed nature of many organisations creates another challenge. This is evident in the fact that different departments have different understandings of what constitutes “valuable” data. To add to this, another prominent challenge is the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) coming into effect. Organisations have to be extra careful about how they collect, store and use customer data.
These challenges that businesses face when it comes to data will remain prominent in the future. In fact, they are only going to become more complex as the volume of data increases and regulations become stricter. This is where a data governance framework comes in.
2. What is a data governance framework and what does it include
A data governance framework is a set of policies and procedures that an organisation puts in place to support its business model, specifically related to generating and consuming data. It generally acts as the bridge between an organisation’s data strategy and the daily management of operations.
At a high level the data governance framework has three functions:
- It needs to embody the strategic vision,
- It needs to acknowledge the importance of data to the organisation,
- It needs to collate all the above into practices and guidelines that support operations.
The components of a data governance framework will vary depending on the organisation’s need, but typically include:
- Data management policies: These set out how data should be collected, stored, and used.
- Data quality standards: These ensure that data is accurate and fit for purpose.
- Data security procedures: These protect data from unauthorized access and disclosure.
- Data retention guidelines: These specify how long data should be kept and when it can be deleted.
- Data access controls: These restrict who can view and edit data.
- Data roles: Clear definitions of each user’s responsibilities in managing and using the data.
In summary, the goal of a data governance framework is: To ensure that data is accurate, accessible, and compliant with all relevant laws and regulations. It is a critical tool in executing your strategy.
3. Why you need a data governance framework to execute your strategy
The benefits of having a data governance framework in place are many. Perhaps most importantly, it provides clarity and certainty around who is responsible for what when it comes to data. This is essential for ensuring that everyone in the organisation is on the same page and working towards the same goals. It also ensures that operations run more effectively since everyone is clear on their role when it comes to data.
A data governance framework also enables organisations to make better use of their data. This is done by ensuring that it is accurate and accessible. Decisions can ultimately be made timeously and accurately, saving time and giving organisations a competitive advantage. Lastly, it helps to ensure compliance with all relevant laws and regulations, an increasingly vital aspect in today’s climate.
Now it is clear why a data governance framework is needed, but what can often be the most challenging step is how to turn that into implementation. So let’s unpack that a little more.
4. How to implement a data governance framework
There is no one-size-fits-all solution for implementing a data governance framework. The best approach will vary depending on the organisation and the specific needs of the business. According to Gartner, an agile approach is the most forward-thinking approach.
We have, however, seen many organisations attempt to perform data governance on their entire data environment at once, which can prove to be complex given the scale of the work required, and the continuously moving state of the data.
A more sustainable approach, which we suggest, is to rather focus on getting data governance right with the data that is the most critical to the organisation, and then scaling that approach to other data sources depending on the level of governance required.
At Decision Inc., these are the steps we follow to implement this approach:
- Scan and Prioritise: Assess the existing data sources and determine which are the most critical, and which have the most urgent data governance issues. This will form the starting point.
- Deploy technologies: Determine which technologies are best suited to helping achieve the data governance requirements.
- Determine the policies and procedures: What rules and guidelines need to be put in place?
- Clarify roles and responsibilities: Who will be responsible for implementing and enforcing the data governance framework
- Communicate the data governance framework: Make sure everyone in the organisation is aware of the new rules and knows what their role is.
- Track and review: Regularly check in to make sure that the data governance framework is being followed and that it is achieving its goals.
- Scale: Extend the approach to the rest of the data sources in order of importance.
In closing, a data governance framework is vital for any organisation to execute a successful data strategy. By outlining who has access to what data, how that data can be used, and establishing procedures for handling and correcting errors, your business can avoid costly mistakes and ensure that everyone in the organisation is on the same page when it comes to using data.
At Decision Inc., we have years of experience helping organisations just like yours create and implement successful data governance frameworks.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you get started.
Work with a partner you trust
When creating a data governance framework to execute your data strategy, it is important to work with a partner you trust. At Decision Inc. we have a global footprint of over 400 clients. Our expert consultants have experience in creating and executing data strategies with the help of governance frameworks for a number of these clients. They will provide accurate information and support throughout the process.
We are the data strategy experts.
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