The digital transformation has dramatically changed the way we do business, and nowhere is this more apparent than when it comes to data governance. Effective data governance tools are essential to ensure the integrity of your data, while navigating evolving compliance standards and security requirements.
Data governance provides a framework to help companies avoid risks and liability, as well as a set of tools to mine data for its maximum value. In this article, we define the term “data governance” and consider some of the strategies successful companies are using to organize, access, and protect their data.
Understanding Data Governance
In short, data governance is a set of policies, procedures, protocols, and metrics that control how data is used, managed, and stored. Data governance considers your company’s unique culture and approach to data, as well as who owns the data and data confidentiality. In this way, data governance helps everyone in an organization use data efficiently, effectively, and responsibly.
With the growing availability and access to real-time data, data governance provides processes to structure, maintain, and update data while ensuring quality and compliance within an enterprise-specific framework. These processes guarantee usability, consistency, data integrity, and data security, as well as accessibility so that information can be quickly used throughout the organization.
Many organizations struggle with implementing an effective data governance approach in the face of so many dependencies. To ease this resource-heavy process, more businesses are adopting solutions to help organize, access, and protect data on a daily basis. These solutions, or data governance tools, help automate the workflow and provide structure to large volumes of data.
Any data governance tool must be able to quickly and effectively manage data from many different access or storage points as well as meet the needs of different end-users. These access or storage points include:
- Internal data warehouses
- The Cloud — where it is predicted that 50% of data will soon be stored in the next three to four years
- Social media — where information used to grow the business and customer loyalty is stored
- Mobile platforms — an access point which typically serves as a unique governance challenge
Finding a solution to organize and maintain data from these points of access ensures your enterprise gains the benefits of consistent and trusted high-quality data.
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Benefits of Data Governance Tools
Data changes frequently as it moves through an enterprise. Information can be replicated and fragmented, which stalls a business in terms of responsiveness and decision-making. Data governance strategies help protect the integrity of data assets, and optimizes master data management and product information management. This key functionality benefits enterprise organizations in numerous ways:
- Better Decision Making: Accessible, well-governed data is readily available to provide accurate insights for big decisions within the organization.
- Operational Efficiency: Data provides valuable information on all parts of an organization from inventory levels to customer satisfaction. Leveraging and applying insights gained from this data can improve operational efficiency in terms of production speed, product quality, and resource usage.
- Improved Data Understanding and Lineage: Data governance provides a comprehensive view of where data is stored and how it is being used, including permissions that manage how and when data can be accessed.
- Data Quality: While data quality and data governance are two distinct capabilities, they work together to improve the end result. Although data cleansing may be required to ensure data quality, data governance that is in line with internal data consistency will guarantee accuracy and usefulness in data-driven decision-making.
- Compliance and Regulation: Every business has regulations unique to its industry and often significant fines are imposed in cases of non-compliance. Data governance assures those regulations are met while also safely managing security and privacy.
- Increased Revenue: With regulations in check, data sorted and analyzed, and customer loyalty assured, data governance results in an increase in the bottom line by way of an efficient and proactive system.
When leveraging a data governance tool to automate this process, organizations benefit from expedited returns and results achieved with successful data governance.
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How to Choose a Data Governance Tool
While there are many data governance tools that perform traditional management functions, specific tools have emerged that address governance program and policy management and data quality. The first step for any organization looking to find the best solution is to determine the use case and outline overall business priorities. Understanding your data governance requirements and business KPIs will drive your choice. In addition to use case requirements, ask yourself the following to narrow down your search:
- Does your organization typically utilize on-premise or cloud-based tools?
- How many existing integrations are currently in place? Will you need a tool that connects with each application? If so, how extensively?
- Do you need a tool to work with large volumes of data from multiple sources?
- Is a self-service admin dashboard important to your workflow?
In order to gain a better understanding of which tool will best meet your requirements, identify which features are needed. Below is a list of features to consider:
- Manage key artifacts, such as data models and glossaries
- Track and manage data management activities like change history and lineage information
- Create and manage metadata
- Provide document classification and lifecycle management
- Assign governance roles and policies
- Define workflow and manage user permissions
- Track work progress
- Monitor business strategies
- Track metrics and effectiveness
Reviewing and pairing each of your business needs with a desired product feature will help you best determine which tool is most effective in meeting your annual goals.
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Data Governance Made Simple
As the use of and resources providing big data increases, so too does the need for data governance, security, and compliance. Although a program may seem complicated at first to implement, enterprise organizations who choose to create a data governance strategy win in the long run. Finding a data governance platform or tool that simplifies the process can be the difference between a solution that works and a solution that works for you.
Understanding the importance of democratizing data and data governance across an enterprise, Talend data governance tools let you take control of your data pipelines with an all-in-one cloud-based platform that provides data quality and self-service access. With its unique integration capabilities, Talend provides you a 360-view of data you can trust in a single platform.
Simplify data governance and realize the value of your enterprise data with Talend Cloud.