Stepping Up Your Data Governance Strategy

September 19, 2016 Tyler Warden

A “record”, a “column”. What do these mean to you? Although you might see them as just database fields, your colleague may view them as integral parts of making the whole business run.

Data governance has traditionally revolved around what data records and elements were most important to an organization’s business. After those pieces were identified, you would then invest time and money to ensure that those data records and elements were correct – some may say “golden”. Looking past this targeted approach, you’ll see a more holistic approach to data governance where the scope of what data elements are recognized as “worth governing” will expand – perhaps even to include all data in all enterprise systems.

Rapid innovation cycles in business software have caused a shift in the way organizations procure and implement software, and companies are working to expand their heterogeneous enterprise architecture and departments are looking to maximize the value of their systems. This approach draws attention to the rules and policies around specific fields that are crucial to the business decisions of organizations across systems and applications. These rules and policies must work across the organization, so the traditional targeted data governance approach would not work. Only a broader, more holistic approach would enable data to be used resourcefully across departments.

From Data to Information

How do you move beyond this traditional data governance approach that can become engrained in your organization? The answer can be found in information governance. It is the movement from data governance to information governance that allows you to set and enforce data policies and drive those policies throughout the organization, in all systems and for all users.

These policies should tie directly into business value and ensure a connection starting with the strategies set by organizational leaders and connected to the individual policies at the data level. Information governance programs need to evolve and be designed to react to different business events like mergers and acquisitions or moving IT systems to the cloud, while keeping a connected path to cover all data in all systems for all users. This agility requires establishing a central, consumable place where all data policies can be collaborated on, set, referenced and tied to the enforcement technologies. The US Congress can pass all of the laws they want, but without the Executive branch to enforce those laws, the laws become a noble exercise in futility. Similarly, establishing a single source of truth for data policies that is tied to the enforcement technologies that help steward the data through those policies allows an enterprise to successfully deliver holistic information governance.

While traditional data governance looks at data to ensure that it is clean, it does not maximize the business value of your data. With quality, enterprises need relevancy, context and a strong connection between policy setting and policy enforcement to take their data governance strategy a step further by looking at data to ensure that the overall business is improving its operations and also meeting business goals. The DNA of your business is in your data – strengthen that DNA with information governance.

Liked this post? Check out this article: Evolving Beyond Traditional Data Governance

About the Author

Tyler Warden

As VP of Solution Management, Tyler drives the market facing initiatives and direction for all BackOffice software including developing and supporting the go to market strategy, field sales efforts, customer and prospect needs, as well as overall market direction of the BackOffice software portfolio. In his time at BackOffice, Tyler has worked in all areas of R&D as well as at customer sites giving him a unique perspective on the needs of the Information Governance market and the current and future needs of customers.

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