Data is one of the most valuable resources that companies possess, with the way that companies manage their data being a significant aspect of their success. However, in recent years, the emphasis on data governance is becoming less daunting for companies around the world. Learn more about why data governance doesn’t have to be scary anymore, and the factors that have made it a far more manageable part of day-to-day work.
What is data governance?
Data governance, or master data governance, is where a company has a series of formal, transparent and consistent processes that it uses when handling and managing data. This includes customer data, internal sales data, and any other metrics the company can gather. Master data tends to refer to the information that is most important to a company and the way that it operates, with some examples of master data entities including customer data, product data, supplier information and facts about employees.
The importance of data governance
There are a few reasons that data governance is one of the most significant challenges that a company must engage in. These include:
In recent years, data has been the subject of a significant amount of legislation. This includes Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation, which provides users with a wide range of rights and privileges around their information. Straying outside these rules can be hugely costly for a company, leading to fines that are a significant portion of the business’ revenue throughout the year. These laws are starting to come into force all around the world, rather than in specific jurisdictions.
Companies are entirely reliant on their data to function properly. Information about their employees’ time at the club, a customer’s past interactions with the business and financial data are essential for running the company properly, as without these there are risks of paying people incorrectly or losing track of budgets. Part of the reason for data governance being so scary is the consequences of doing it incorrectly.
There is a significant competitive edge to be gained through better data governance. This advantage comes through a few different sources, including:
- Greater levels of efficiency as staff members know where to find information.
- Better analytics leading to optimised decision-making throughout.
- Better understanding of the way marketing materials perform.
How data governance is becoming less scary
There are several factors at work that are stopping data governance from being as scary as it once was. Just some of the factors in the changing way that we see data governance include:
Data experts have been in the field for some time now, and that means that there is a much higher level of training available. People have spent years working with and around data and know the safe ways of handling it and the right systems to use. By passing this information on and assessing the competence of people handling data, there is a much higher level of general skill in the field. Management doesn’t have to worry about the standard of data management as everyone knows what they are doing.
The data management industry, especially master data management, is seeing the introduction of new pieces of technology and platforms for professionals in the field. Using an MDG solution provides users with consistent process management in a single solution, which speeds up the training of new members of staff and eases the transition of those that are just moving into the company. These can be cost-effective ways of introducing comprehensive data solutions that keep all of your information under control and organised, all whilst flexible systems adjust to your needs.
There is a much higher level of specialisation taking place across the world of business. As data becomes more important, more companies are hiring data analysts and governance officers to get a more comprehensive understanding of how information flows through the company. Because of this, companies feel safe in the knowledge that they are working with reliable staff members who are setting about their tasks in the right way. The company isn’t at risk as everyone has spent years honing their very specific craft.
Should data governance be feared?
There’s an argument to say that given its importance, data governance is one of the scarier parts of business processes. However, this is only really the case when you are not prepared for the challenges ahead of you. Be calm and considerate in your processes and master data governance becomes just another part of your day-to-day work. Invest in the right platforms, train people to have the right skills and avoid using generalists. Each of these steps makes data governance a little bit easier and puts you on the right road to futureproofing your business operations for many years to follow.