The demands of the competitive business world of the 21st Century require an organization to make productive use of its data resources. Performing analytics on the collected data provides insights regarding such diverse topics as customer trends, operational efficiency, and regulatory compliance. Failure to take advantage of the tremendous volumes of information available will result in missed opportunities and potentially negative financial ramifications.
A factor that contributes to the misuse of enterprise data resources is the complex structure of many organizations. A solitary contractor does not need to worry about how various terms and data items are used since they are the only person who has to understand them. When the audience consists of just yourself, you can call things whatever you want. Today you are billing, tomorrow invoicing. All that matters is that you get paid. There are no grey areas that may introduce confusion to communication.
Larger companies are not so fortunate. They need to use language consistently throughout the organization or risk misusing it in ways that can hurt the business. Minor differences in how data is categorized or used in different departments can have a ripple effect that impacts productivity. Over time, data silos are often organically created that limit the way information is shared across the company. Data governance is a methodology that an enterprise can employ to make better use of its data resources.
The Benefits of Data Governance
There are multiple advantages for organizations that implement data governance to address their information assets. Some may immediately result in financial gains while others are intended to protect the enterprise from the misuse of its valuable information.
Increased revenue is achieved through more effective use of data resources. This benefit may manifest itself in generating better sales leads and the more timely release of new products. Marketing campaigns will also benefit from the constructive use of enterprise data.
An organization’s working capital can be optimized through the efforts of data governance. Using centralized data definitions across departments results in improved forecasting and allocation of financial resources.
Enhanced data security is of uppermost importance to every enterprise. Data governance defines how sensitive data is accessed to provide better protection and minimize the potential of an expensive data breach.
Regulatory compliance is assuming a more prominent place in the agendas of IT management teams. The focus on protecting private information has resulted in many jurisdictions adopting regulations around the collection and use of electronic data. Implementing data governance can help organizations remain in compliance in a landscape of increasing regulatory complexity.
A Central Component of Data Governance
Many aspects of data governance rely on the performance of the individuals and teams assigned to various roles such as data stewards and owners. Supporting their efforts is the data directory that is used throughout the organization. The data directory is used to define several items as they relate to the business:
- The ways that the data is used;
- The accuracy and completeness of data items;
- Data sources and their mappings to usage;
- Control and metrics that support data quality;
- Monitoring of the controls and metrics to ensure data quality.
Questions about enterprise data should be able to be answered by consulting the data directory. Creating and maintaining a viable data directory is an essential part of implementing data governance.
Implementing Data Governance in Your Organization
Putting an effective data governance program in place requires the buy-in of stakeholders throughout the organization. The main point of the program is to use data consistently across departmental boundaries which is impossible without the input of everyone who uses the information.
ER/Studio Enterprise Team Edition offers organizations a collaborative tool with which to implement data governance and alleviate the informational misunderstandings that can hinder growth and productivity. It helps build a strong foundation on which your data governance program will be built and flourish.
ER/Studio Enterprise Team Edition provides a shared data model repository that enables everyone in the organization to quickly be apprised of changes that affect how information is being used. The tool facilitates the creation of enterprise-wide data definitions that keep everyone on the same page regarding corporate information resources. Changes to data models can be tracked and analyzed so affected data sources are not negatively impacted.
As with any complex physical or intellectual construction, the foundation is critical to its long-term viability. ER/Studio helps your organization build a strong base that makes it more likely that you will achieve the desired results from implementing data governance. With the potential benefits that data governance promises, an enterprise needs it to remain competitive and grow its business.