On the fence about whether your organization needs data governance? There are good reasons to take another look.
Data is the foundation of organizational operations, and its importance necessitates a thoughtful approach to managing data as an asset. To address the gap that many corporations have when it comes to making the most of their data, companies can adopt and implement data governance. This trend is most pronounced in industries where data has long been viewed as a critical asset, but is increasing in importance across all sectors. It is a sign of the times that investors now look at how an organization governs its data as a critical indicator of company value (See for example “Why Investors Should Be Wary Of Firms That Don’t Take Data Governance Seriously”). Nevertheless, organizations embrace data governance for myriad reasons that include but are not limited to compliance with government regulations, threat of data breaches, business/product brand protection and enhancement with customers and investors, and the ability to leverage data as a competitive advantage to generate revenue.
If commercial industries see value in robust data governance, then government agencies can obtain similar value. Concern for revenue generation and investor relations are not part of the equation, but the drivers that compel government agencies to implement data governance are largely the same. Much like commercial businesses, government agencies can look to data governance to meet regulatory and security obligations, to improve customer/taxpayer services, and to protect and/or improve their reputation with internal stakeholders and the public at large. While private industry is primarily driven by calculations of profit and loss, government agencies require data governance to meet their obligations to the public and to ensure good stewardship of taxpayer funds.
Too frequently, commercial and government organizations pursue technology solutions that promise magical results without addressing foundational people, process, and data challenges; precisely the areas of focus for data governance. This is the first in series of short articles that will explore the nexus between data governance and the decision chain that enables government organizations to make informed choices about how to best leverage their data, whatever their organization’s mission. For organizations that are struggling with managing their data, data governance does not offer a magic pill. To be effective, data governance programs need to be designed to meet the needs of individual organizations, ensuring that the right stakeholders are involved and that an operating model is selected to meet the organization’s goals and fit its culture. By implementing a systematic data governance program that codifies policies, standards, accountabilities and roles and responsibilities around the use of an organizational data ecosystem, government entities can address the following challenges:
· Regulatory & Security Obligations
· Improvements in Customer Service & Performance
· Increased Awareness of Mission and Agency Brand