Why Data Governance Requires You to Walk the Talk
Losing track of your organization's data is not only an inconvenience, but it's also expensive. Besides the risk of lost business, dropped customers, and missed opportunities, the new changes to GDRP/CCPA can add hefty fines to the list of potential pitfalls of poor data governance.
In fact, in January 2020, DLA Piper reported that Europe's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)—in effect less than two years—had already resulted in fines of $126 million. And the penalties for losing control of customer data will only continue to add up as new regulations — such as the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) — go into effect.
It's important to pay close attention to the changing regulatory environment, which makes data governance more critical than ever for organizations that have massive flows of information. In other words, just about every company in charge of more than a laptop's worth of data needs to adapt. What's more, data governance should be everyone's business within your organization, not just a task relegated to a small cadre of IT professionals.
Here's why you've got to walk the talk:
Data Governance Demystified
Distinct from the data management nuts and bolts of corralling data across an enterprise, data governance means taking a high-level view of the policies, procedures, and metrics needed to lay the groundwork for data management. Data governance spells out for your organization, your employees, your vendors, and even your customers, how and why they should manage your company's information.
Robust data governance means defining:
1. Who has access to what data, and establishing good practices for data stewardship.
2. What level of permissions various users should have to your data, including the circumstances under which they can access it, for what purpose, and for how long.
3. The business benefits of controlling specific types of an organization's data, via a clear understanding of use cases.
4. Terminology and syntax for data that remains the same across the organization to foster collaboration between departments and systems and help ensure data quality.
5. Where, why, and how to manage data as part of a master data management plan.
In other words, while data management may focus primarily on the systems that make sense of your organization's information, data governance pays as much attention to the people involved with that data. Everyone in an organization must play a role in data governance, from C-suite executives to managers, marketers, and everyone in between.
As more companies leverage data, it's also increasingly critical for everyone in your organization to understand how data helps solve the company's challenges. This will make data users more efficient and, potentially, help keep your company out of trouble with regulators. That's because data touches all parts of an enterprise, driving everything from customer retention to supply chain management, and, of course, compliance.
The benefits of good data governance aren't limited to compliance, they include better security for users and, ultimately, better customer experiences. All of that matters when it comes to customer retention and growth.
Reaping the Benefits
A company with good data governance gives everyone faith in the integrity of propriety information. It also empowers everyone with the knowledge of where to find the information they need to do their work effectively. Having a single source of truth for all things data-related also helps you better serve customers, lets you more easily attract new ones, and helps keep internal business processes running more efficiently.
The benefits of strong data governance include:
1. Greater accuracy for analytics, including prescriptive analytics, as well as descriptive and predictive analytics.
2. Better regulatory compliance through well-defined stewardship for data and clearly understood data retention policies. This is especially important in light of the growing number of privacy regulations, including GDPR and CCPA.
3. Higher quality data—for example, consistent customer naming conventions across enterprise systems, such as marketing platforms and accounting software. This improves every process that relies on data, including marketing, pricing, and product development.
4. A single, agreed-upon standard for data across the enterprise, breaking down data silos between company departments, and enabling better coordination and collaboration.
5. Lower costs for data management through greater efficiencies, including less time spent searching for and making sense of data.
6. More effective decision-making for business managers due to better access to more data that can drive better business decisions. Ki, for example, is a software designed for those managers to leverage that data.
Especially in today's increasingly stringent regulatory environment for organizations that depend on large volumes of customer information, data governance is essential for effective everything from operational management to compliance. But good data governance also enables you to reap other powerful benefits by helping produce actionable business insights that will better unify the people, systems, and processes that make your company profitable.
To learn more about how good quality data combined with automated analytics from Keyence can help your business and team right now, request a demo.
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