Data governance: it's time to mobilise. - GWI

Data governance: it’s time to mobilise. 

It’s no surprise data management and operations are always changing.

We’re constantly faced with new and exciting challenges — ever-evolving technologies, the realisation of new concepts such as data democratisation, and even bias creeping into machine learning. While these evolutions can create uncertainty, what we do know is with the vast quantities of data now available comes the increased potential for privacy breaches and a greater need for ethical decision-making. Not only this, there is also an increased desire for data literacy and methods for valuing and monetising data.

But with change comes opportunity. The need for solid foundations in which to build these new opportunities remains just as valuable as ever. In fact, given the intelligence of current solutions to mash and analyse data, these foundations have probably never been as important.

This is where good data governance comes into play.

Transitioning data governance from a framework or strategy to tangible outcomes may be a huge challenge, but there is very little value in a set of initiatives if they are not actionable. Gaining a competitive advantage through data or reducing your organisational risk, for example, are outcomes that can change your business for the better, and they can be achieved when data governance is embedded into business practices.

Quick tips to mobilise data governance:

  1. Ensure your data governance operating model is fit for purpose. A good model must be designed specifically for your organisation, your program or project, or business area. Depending on what you’re aiming to achieve, selecting the right model is critical — otherwise it’s like fitting a square peg into a round hole.
  2. Determine what decisions need to be made and the right people to make them. Make it a priority to empower them with the tools they need to get the job done.
  3. Clearly define your focus areas. Do you want improved data quality? Risk reduction? Competitive advantage? This will help prioritise your activities and investments and align them with your business strategy.
  4. Mobilise staff with a governance role (per tip 2). Onboard them, establish your governance bodies where required, and provide the necessary support materials and escalation frameworks.
  5. Measure your performance and review your processes and do this regularly to ensure continuous improvement.
Michelle Teis

Michelle Teis
Partner