A robust data governance framework is essential for safeguarding enterprise data from cyber-attacks, unauthorized access, and other threats. But establishing the right policies and standards is only half the battle.
Tying data governance to a company driver helps organizations get buy-in from stakeholders and ensures that the initiative is successful throughout its lifecycle.
Define Your Purpose
A data governance framework is a set of rules and processes for managing data within an organization. It ensures data is accurate, consistent, and accessible to all team members and external stakeholders. It also defines how the data will be stored, shared, and used across departments.
To implement a data governance framework, you must consider your organizational culture and determine the program’s purpose. This will help you create a strategy aligning with your business goals. It’s a good idea to start with a pilot project, allowing you to evaluate the framework and make any necessary adjustments before it’s deployed companywide.
It’s also important to consider your data governance goals and business objectives. For example, if your company is involved in data analytics, you’ll want to establish policies that promote best practices and enable your employees to use the data they need. If your company is collecting personal information, it’s essential to have procedures protecting this data.
A data governance framework can also help you identify and track risks to customer data as it moves around your organization. This is a critical step in data governance, and it should be considered by every department and employee before they share or transfer any information.
Create a Taxonomy
A good taxonomy is a crucial element of a data governance framework. It allows a business to organize information into meaningful groups that help it understand and make decisions. Moreover, it’s essential to ensure that data is clean and accurate. A taxonomy can make it easier for employees to spot errors in the data and clean it up. This increases the reliability of information and helps businesses make informed decisions.
It’s essential to have multiple stakeholders involved in building a taxonomy, as it will be used across many business processes. These could include content strategy, web design and user experience, marketing, customer support, site search, business intelligence, and more. Getting these people on board will make the taxonomy more likely to be maintained after it’s implemented.
Establishing editorial rules for taxonomy management is essential during this process. This will include using a style guide, which should be consistent with enterprise editorial standards. It’s also a good idea to have a standardized capitalization scheme (usually title or sentence case) and a policy for using qualifiers, such as parentheses, in terms and labels.
A taxonomy change management process should be established, which includes a requirement for review and communication of changes. It should also have a standard change approval process with clear guidelines for assessing the impact and benefits of proposed changes.
Educate Your Employees
When companies have a well-established data governance framework, they can begin implementing self-service tools that will help employees find and access the information they need. This will improve the quality of decision-making across the organization and make it possible for non-technical users to benefit from the program, too.
This step is also about establishing channels for feedback so you can identify any areas where the framework needs improvement. For example, a company may need to change its policies around data access or update its software to support a new data structure better.
A successful data governance strategy can be a significant advantage for businesses, especially those with government contracts, which have specific requirements for how contractors handle unclassified information. In addition, it can reduce unwanted consequences like costly fines from a federal agency or negative media coverage due to information misuse.
One of the biggest challenges is getting employees on board with any data governance initiative. However, this can be mitigated by providing positive reasons to embrace these changes. Explaining how the changes will benefit them, for example, through automation of privacy rules or a more streamlined workflow, is an excellent way to build interest in a data governance strategy. You should also have a system to keep employees up-to-date on the latest trends and best practices in data governance. This can be achieved by sharing news through reports, email newsletters, or workshops.
Create a Data Governance Team
Creating a data governance framework requires more than just implementing a data catalog. It also involves setting up data ownership and accountability procedures, establishing a framework for data architecture and metadata management, and deploying tools for maintaining data governance policies and compliance.
It’s essential that the team involved with data governance is well-equipped to meet the job’s demands. This will often include a cross-functional group of employees with varying skill sets. Ideally, it’s a group of people who understand the value of making data more accessible and are willing to take on new challenges.
Once a team is in place, it’s time to set up the framework. As McKinsey explains, this includes developing policies for managing data quality and security, determining what tools are needed to support governance activities, and deciding how to measure success and how the framework will be implemented.
These policies and procedures must be documented, too. This helps clarify who is responsible for what task and ensures that data governance is carried out correctly. Additionally, it provides a record of the organization’s data governance history for future reference. This can be a valuable tool for complying with changing regulations, like GDPR or other data protection laws. It can also help companies avoid penalties for non-compliance or breaches.