The progressive application of data governance to priority areas of data business provides immediate benefits while companies work towards the end-goal of automated data governance systems, says business intelligence firm PBT Group Strategic BI manager Yolanda Smit.
Ascribing the accountability of data to various business functions and formalising the existing informal data management systems in line with business rules and requirements will immediately provide better oversight of business-critical functions.
For each rule and principle of data governance defined, adding new data and systems becomes easier and faster and reduces or eliminates risks.
Integrating and automating business processes and systems require that rules and policies be effectively applied to the data related to them. Data governance processes, thus, underpin the holistic transformation of the business, she adds.
Data governance also supports the data architecture of a business by ensuring that information is effectively referenced to provide accurate and comparable views. This reduces data storage, management and associated data-law risks while improving basic business functions.
“Standardisation of data and data quality improves the efficiencies of all business systems using these critical data. However, the best way to deal with these issues progressively and on a granular level is to determine what data is strategic or high priority and then manage those first.
“We advocate a pragmatic and systematic approach to improving data governance. While our customers typically worry about the complexity, once we start to answer some basic questions for data governance – who owns the data and which manager is responsible for it – it is easy to identify the highest-priority work.”
The business rules inherent in any organisation can readily be unearthed and formalised, and companies are typically surprised at the ease with which data governance progress can be implemented and the value that is unlocked by improving data management, says Smit.
Finally, having good data management and governance systems in place is very effective to ensure control over the business and that it easily meets regulations within multiple jurisdictions, which is often the case with multinational firms.
Any further digitisation, changes to regulations and information technology system improvements are also bolstered by high-quality data, with the business’s sustainability, therefore, enhanced.
The value of best practice data governance is more than just effective compliance and affords an opportunity to streamline processes, owing to detailed knowledge of data flows and processes, and data governance is often a catalyst for efficiency, concludes Smit.