The staggering growth in the quantity of data that an organization is expected to assimilate has led to many new challenges. Businesses need to make use of the wealth of information available to them in order to remain viable in an increasingly competitive marketplace. Failure to unlock the value of a company’s data can leave financially beneficial initiatives on the table when proper analysis would have resulted in creative and profitable business decisions.
Managing the massive amounts of data available from the Internet of Things (IoT) and other connected sources is the first step an enterprise must take if they expect the information to provide any significant advantage. Developing a strategy with which to manage their data is a critical component of running a business in the 21st Century. Data governance has been gaining traction as a practice that can help companies better manage their data and stay compliant with regulatory standards and corporate policies.
Big Data Pain Points
Multiple issues can make it difficult for businesses to successfully wrap their heads around their data and use it effectively. The problems can influence the planning and direction in which the data management will be implemented. Some of the most pressing pain points include:
- Lack of an overall strategy to guide investment and achieve tangible results can impede the ability to take full advantage of an organization’s data. A team-based approach is critical to developing a successful big data strategy. This entails collaboration and may require concessions in some areas to implement a plan that addresses the needs of the whole enterprise. Diverse areas of the business must come together to create a data governance program.
- The problem of data silos is another hurdle to be negotiated by businesses looking to institute data governance. A data silo is defined as a collection of data that is isolated from other areas of the organization. The existence of data silos can make it difficult to agree on how data is categorized and used throughout an enterprise. Data silos evolve organically in an organization for the common reasons of company culture, organizational structure, and technology. Different departments employing varying solutions may have developed their own language and processes concerning the company’s shared data.
- Paying attention to workflow concerns and securing buy-in from those affected by the data governance program is essential to its success. It is vitally important that upper management is on board with the direction of the data management program. It is equally important that all parties impacted by the initiative realize its utility if the policy is to be truly effective throughout the organization.
How Data Governance Helps Manage Big Data
Data governance helps address specific issues that can hinder the ability of a business to manage its data.
- The increased volume of data from diverse sources can lead to inconsistencies in how data is used and understood. These inconsistencies need to be addressed and resolved before erroneous business decisions are made due to a lack of complete understanding of the data driving them.
- The need to create a common business language to address self-service reporting and analysis and to enable intelligent cross-departmental decisions is another problem faced when managing big data.
- Another concern is an increased focus on regulatory requirements driven by concerns over data breaches involving sensitive personal information. Organizations need to have a clear understanding of the type of data they have, where it is stored, and how it is used to remain compliant in the current regulatory landscape.
A robust data governance program puts everyone in the organization on the same page regarding the data used to operate and grow the business.
The Road to Successful Data Governance
Obtaining consensus from the diverse departments and individuals who comprise an organization can be a monumental task. It involves hard work, flexibility in addressing changing constraints, and automated tools to facilitate the process. IDERA’s ER/Studio Enterprise Team Edition is an application which can form the foundation of your data governance program.
The tool enables an enterprise to collaborate on business data terms and definitions to enable enhanced inter-departmental communication and decision making. It helps you identify and document your existing data assets and enables you to build an enterprise-wide data model. Implement naming standards that will be automatically applied between logical and physical data models.
Users of ER/Studio expressed satisfaction in the increased efficiency of data modeling with the help of the application. It assists in creating standardized data models and increases the consistency of information both within and across models. Another benefit is improved collaboration when using the platform within different departments across the organization. If you are struggling with creating a solid foundation for your data governance program, ER/Studio will prove to be a valuable tool for your enterprise.