Hidden in plain sight: Don’t miss out on the real value of an effective data governance program

Most organisations understand data governance in terms of compliance

We’ve all got used to the ‘opt in’ tick box over the past few years and associate this with the idea that data governance is a collection of processes and policies that ensures the responsible use of personal information. Although remaining compliant to data protection legislation, such as GDPR and CCPA, is a crucial benefit, it only scratches the surface of the value that can be driven from data governance programs.

However, a large number of organisations are missing out on this value. Research carried out by Nephos Technologies earlier this year showed that a quarter of UK data governance programs were failing to add value. In addition, nearly half of organisations admitted that this was due to a lack of skills or expertise.

So much more than compliance

Compliance is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to data governance. For many businesses, this is the sole driver of their data governance program so, once the tick is in the compliance box, they never take it any further. However by doing so, they are missing out on huge potential to add value which could ultimately be detrimental to the business and lead to a loss of competitive advantage.

Ultimately, most organisations realise that data is a very valuable asset to businesses, but don’t understand how data governance can help them drive it. But putting the time, money and resources into establishing a strong data governance program will pay off in the long term.

The value of good data governance

By implementing a successful data governance program, organisations will build a data catalogue that is coordinated and uniform, making data transparent and easily accessible which ensures:

● Improved data quality

● Better business efficiency and performance

● Greater decision making

● Effective compliance

● Enhanced business reputation

With a trusted dataset, smarter decision-making takes place which can drive tactical and strategic decisions.

Getting started

Data governance is a complex process with many moving parts, ranging from data quality, master data management and the challenges presented by encryption, to choosing the right technology tools and the enforcement of policies.

Too commonly, organisations simply don’t know how or where to get started with their data governance programs. In fact, nearly 20% of organisations told Nephos that they were only just beginning with data governance. Yet, even those who have implemented a data governance strategy struggle to drive value because they simply don’t have the time or resources to invest into the project.

The problem is, organisations can’t do everything at once. Most simply don’t have people and processes in place to establish and maintain good governance, while many only focus on short-term standalone data projects, rather than the benefits of a long-term, holistic strategy.

At your service

In order to help organisations drive the effectiveness of key business processes often held back by poor quality data, the concept of Data Governance-as-a-Service (DGaaS) has emerged. Bridging the gap between objectives and results, DGaaS speeds up adoption and time to market based on four key areas:

● Discovery & Classification – an essential first step, accurate discovery and classification of data allows for implementation and integration of other upstream data services.

● Operationalising Data Governance – gives the ability to create and design policies and processes without the need to deploy and manage them.

● Process Creation and Documentation – provides the integrated consultancy to drive ideas and objectives through to execution.

● Business Intelligence – takes the raw outputs from the toolsets and turns them into tangible business outputs.

In common with other ‘as-a-Service’ models, DGaaS frees organisations from the resource and technical limitations that cause so many projects to fail and allows them to focus on the transformational potential of data. In today’s data-centric economy, organisations are increasingly faced with a big decision: embrace the opportunity effective governance offers to deliver business growth, innovation and compliance, or risk competitive advantage and the penalties imposed by regulators when it falls short.

About the Author

Michael Queenan is CEO and Co-Founder of Nephos Technologies. Nephos Technologies is a data focussed, independent systems integrator, specialising in helping our clients transform the way they store, process and protect their data.

Featured image: ©Max_776