Why your business needs better data governance

Data management is the process of using data to run your business. But with growing demands on businesses and accelerating changes in today’s digital world, how can you keep up? 

Your organization needs clear strategies for storing, analyzing, and sharing data to drive results and meet changing customer needs. However, as every business knows, instituting these strategies can be challenging. This is why you need data governance. 

What is data governance?

Data governance is the process of setting standards, policies, and procedures for managing data in your organization. It consists of the right systems, processes, and people to ensure your data is managed effectively. As an integral part of managing business, these data processes are critical for ensuring your organization continues to grow and thrive. The right policies and procedures will enable your organization to manage data in a way which allows for effective decision-making.

The benefits of data governance

Good data management strategies and processes enable your organization to complete day-to-day tasks more efficiently, respond quickly to opportunities and challenges, and deliver a better customer experience. This means your business will be more agile and effective in the short-term — whether in responding to a customer’s need, or making strategic decisions. 

A Harvard Business Review report stated 87% of respondents said data management is important to their future business success. When implemented correctly, data governance will increase your business’ efficiency, improve customer service, and reduce the risk of cybersecurity breaches, which is increasingly important as more organizations are facing growing global challenges around data security.

5 data governance best practices

Align data governance to business outcomes

A data management strategy is only useful if you align it to the business outcomes you’re trying to achieve. For instance, let’s say your business goal is to improve customer satisfaction. One way to measure this is to track your customer reviews per 1000 orders. You can set up metrics like this to track your business outcomes and measure them regularly. 

Data governance leads to better analytics, which leads to better business decisions, which then leads to better business performance.

Ensure data governance operations are transparent

Transparency is critical in the data management process. It ensures the data governance program operates in accordance with the terms set out in the policies and procedures. It additionally ensures those who have access to data are doing so appropriately, and not abusing the system.

As the data manager, you have a responsibility to ensure the operations of your data governance program are transparent. This includes: 

  • Access rights: Who has access to the data and how they are accessing it.
  • Retention periods: How long data should be kept and when it should be deleted 
  • Data processing procedures: How data is being used and with whom it is being shared.
  • Data governance policies: How data is collected and used. 

Implement technology strategically

If you’re operating a paper-based organization, you’re probably already in the process of upgrading your technology and moving to a digital model. But the rapid growth in data has made this transition more challenging. 

By implementing efficient digital technologies, including an effective data governance strategy, you’ll be able to ensure your data management system runs more smoothly. Additionally, you will be in a better position to track and analyze your data. This will give you a clear sense of which data is most important to track, which will help you better prioritize your data efforts.

Protect your data from unauthorized access

Data breaches are becoming more commonplace. All businesses need to take steps to protect their sensitive information from any sort of unauthorized access. 

First of all, you should implement strong data protection and governance policies across your organization. This will help ensure sensitive data is appropriately classified, and only authorized individuals are allowed to view it. 

You should also invest in effective data protection and governance technologies, including an automated data protection solution. A comprehensive data protection solution will allow you to enforce strict access management policies, and help you manage the flow of data securely.

Good data management will force data to be encrypted based on its classification, whether at rest or in transit.

Train employees to improve their efficiency

Another key aspect of data management is training your employees on how to use data effectively. This will allow you to bring greater accountability to the way data is being used in your organization. 

It’s important to establish clear policies around data protection, as well as a formalized training program. Establishing these will help you address the potential risks of data leakage, as well as help employees better understand and manage data. 

Another important way to train employees on how to use data more effectively is to create data dashboards and visualizations. These visual tools can help employees keep track of important data topics and metrics, making it easier to better contextualize their decisions and actions.

Protect your data with the experts

Data management is incredibly important to your business. Whether you’re a startup or an established enterprise, keeping track of all your data will help you reach your goals more effectively.

The data governance specialists at BCS365 can future-proof your business with a strong data governance framework, and help you scale your operations.