Digital Themes

Smart data governance

At its core, smart data governance is about data quality, data security, data integration, and data architecture. While businesses can select from several data governance framework models — the McKinsey model, the PwC model, or the Data Management Body of Knowledge (DMBOK), to name a few — they can be confident their selection will prioritize both data security and data quality. 

Experts agree that smart data governance rests on at least four pillars: data quality, data security, data privacy, and data management. To achieve their data goals, businesses must employ data governance tools, a data governance strategy, and data governance best practices. 

In the current age of big data, data stewards’ responsibilities continue to evolve. The best data governance strategy aligns with regulatory compliance, business objectives, and the company’s greater mission. Data collection follows clear objectives and responds to identified key performance indicators (KPIs). The work is often preventive, versus reactive: Data stewards use data flow diagrams and data process mapping to identify roadblocks before they occur. 

Smart data governance best practices also pertain to automated data governance, which frequently employs artificial intelligence (AI) tools. Data governance automation tools have many capabilities, including the ability to track data lineage; to auto-classify data sets; to measure the success of data initiatives and place them in the context of larger company goals; and to prevent the siloing or isolation of mission-critical data. 

By collapsing data silos, effective data governance encourages all team members to be invested in data stewardship. When everyone in a company becomes accountable for data protection and data quality, smart data governance occurs naturally. Data is essential to everyone’s work, and when businesses make smart data governance a universal concern, they protect against careless errors and unintentional data security breaches. 

Business benefits of smart data governance include:

  • Greater transparency across the organization
  • Improved decision-making
  • Increased consumer trust
  • Increased employee trust
  • Improved risk management
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