Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Data Governance - Value Proposition

There are many definitions for data governance. One of the more commonly used definitions comes from the Data Governance Institute.
A system of decision rights and accountabilities for information-related processes, executed according to agreed-upon models which describe who can take what actions with what information, and when, under what circumstances, using what methods
- Data Governance Institute
 That’s a mouthful, isn’t it? Simply put, Data Governance is:

The formal process of managing data within an organization – John Eisenhauer
That’s it. Whatever we do to control our data – good or bad – is Data Governance.

But the real question is, “Why?” Why create a formal program for managing our data?
To answer the question, we must realize that, at its core, Data Governance is a process. Processes provide both consistency and repeatability. Without a data governance process, our data quickly degrades; undermining the fundamental value data provides to the organization:


Trust – without trust, we have chaos. Every decision we make is based on data. If our data isn’t trustworthy, how confident are we in our ability to make decisions?

Stability is the ability of an object to maintain equilibrium after displacement. Accurate, consistent data enables consistent processes, which, in turn, ensures business stability. Our ability to react to change is based primarily in our data and the processes by which it is maintained.

Compliance is conforming to rules, specifications and policies. Implementing Data Governance starts with Policies, rules and definitions followed by processes to enforce and automate them.

Ultimately, Data Governance can drive significant benefit to the organization along the following dimensions:
  • Decreased costs
  • Decreased time & effort
  • Decreased risk of compliance failures
  • Increased trust in corporate data
  • Improved decision support capabilities
  • Better organizational collaboration

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