Data governance is the practice and concept of managing data throughout its lifecycle. This includes gathering, understanding, protecting, and leveraging your data. Data governance consists of the process of effective management of data using a comprehensive business strategy that defines how all the data your organization deals with is captured, protected, and efficiently utilized.
Data governance can’t exist without executive support. If a company’s top executives are in favor of data governance and commit to its long-term success, most other stakeholders will follow along. However, data governance doesn't always have to start with a data council. It most often begins with a single data analyst or engineer documenting various roles and permissions with a database or warehouse. On the other side of the spectrum, which most data organizations should aim for as they scale, data councils are created, ensuring that stakeholders within the business align on the management of data. These data councils should form with clear objectives in mind, including:
In a data council, senior leaders across the organization gather to assess and prioritize the most critical KPIs that impact organizational goals. People objectively interrogate core assumptions about the company and assess the efficacy of key initiatives. This puts Data Governance as the decider of the “north star” for organizations.
Data governance goals are:
And, if your initiative is successful, your company's culture will become “data-driven,” as folks across the enterprise look to the Data Council for insights into team performance and transparency into decision-making.
Data governance is one of the most desirable activities that organizations undertake to make use of data in a responsible manner. Data governance includes all the practices that help you identify, manage and control different types of data. It's not something complicated, but an efficient way to use data to benefit your business needs.
Data stewards come in all shapes and sizes- they can be the lone data analyst at a 10 person company, or a C-suite role within a large corporation. Regardless, data governance requires the coordination between multiple parties, and some of the most common roles that are integral to data governance include: