Data Governance Strategy — where to begin?

A data analyst examining a large volume of data.
In today’s digital age, data has become just as important as the products themselves. But for it to become valuable, data needs to be governed. In this article, you will learn how to implement a data governance strategy, as well as how data maturity assessments can help your organization get from simple data management to real-time data governance.

Data Management vs. Data Governance

Whether or not you actually use the term, your business probably already engages in some form of data management. If you use time-tracking data to bill clients, you’re managing data. If you use customer relationship management (CRM) software, you’re managing data. Inventory tracking? Also data management.  

Data governance goes beyond simply managing data — it defines how you manage data and why. It’s an extensive, ongoing process that brings together all of a company’s diverse data points, organizing and making them accessible to the right people at the right time. As your business grows and accumulates more data, the process continuously evolves, focusing on constant optimization and adjustment. 

If you’re new to the concept, we recommend reading our previous post about what data governance entails and why it’s so important. 

How does a data maturity assessment help?

While most organizations have basic data governance in place, challenges can still arise. For example, when a key individual responsible for specific data or products suddenly leaves the organization, they may take crucial knowledge, data, and processes with them, without fully documenting their job responsibilities. 

In contrast, consider the benefits of having a smooth onboarding experience for a new employee, who quickly becomes a valuable contributor thanks to a well-defined process.

A data maturity assessment offers valuable insights into how an organization addresses these scenarios. By evaluating the current state of data governance and identifying potential gaps, it helps develop strategies for improvement. This ensures smoother transitions, minimizing the impact of unexpected personnel changes, and fostering an environment where new employees can start contributing to the organization’s success quickly.

 

Consultant showing a client how to implement a new analytics system.
As your partners in Data Governance, we’re here to support you every step of the way.

 

Implementing a Data Governance strategy, step by step

Step 1: Define your goals  

No data governance is complete without a well-defined goal to guide your efforts. What purpose should your data serve? What value do you want to extract from it? 

If you’re not sure where to begin, start with your business goals. No matter where your target is— whether  cutting costs, increasing employee productivity, driving profits, enhancing cybersecurity measures, or ensuring compliance — mature data will help you reach it. 

If you’re still unsure how data fits with your business goals, contact one of our experts and we’ll help you come up with a strategy. 

Step 2: Gather all current data 

Just as companies that sell goods need to take inventory of their products, any company that wishes to valorize its data stores needs to first know exactly where their data comes from. Depending on your industry and tools, you may have several different sources of data, for instance:  

  • Enterprise resource management (ERP) software
  • Customer relationship management (CRM) software 
  • Excel
  • Inventory management software 
  • Time tracking software 
  • Website analytics 
  • Marketing automation
  • Human resource management (HRM) software 
  • Business intelligence software 
  • Business process management (BPM)
  • Internet of things
  • Ledgers

Step 3: Assess your data maturity level 

Once you know where your data comes from and what you want it to help you achieve, it’s time to analyze that data to understand its current status, assess risk, and assign responsibilities. 

At Poslovna Inteligencija, we’ve developed the Data Maturity Assessment to do precisely this. Using the internationally-recognized TM Forum Maturity approach, our assessment serves as a review of your complete data estate. We’re not here to punish; our mission is to offer you a genuine view of where you stand at the moment and shine a light on the aspects that could use some fine-tuning. This equips you with the insights needed to govern your data in harmony with your business objectives, assisting you in pinpointing areas for improvement and deciding where to invest.

At the people, processes, and technology levels, this assessment tracks a company’s metrics across the following 8 data domains: 

  • Metadata management
  • This is the collecting, organizing, and implementing activities related to data about data
  • Data stewardship
  • Enables ownership, boosts accessibility, and enables quality, safe, and trustworthy data
  • Master data management 
  • Ensures consistency and efficient use of an enterprise’s shared data assets, reduces risks, and lowers costs associated with data integration 
  • Data privacy management 
  • Concerned with privacy, regulatory compliance, and data ethics
  • Data security management 
  • Management of an enterprise’s security policies and procedures, including authentication, authorization, and secure access 
  • Data policy management 
  • Rules that govern the creation, acquisition, integrity, security, quality, and use of data within an organization 
  • Data strategy 
  • Driven by business strategy, data strategy is built on principles of managing data as an asset and extracting value from it 
  • Organization and roles 
  • Defines how data governance will be executed by assigning accountability, roles, and responsibilities to data management procedures 

 

The results of this assessment reveal your organization’s strengths and areas needing improvement. With this understanding, you can prioritize efforts, define data-related responsibilities, and delegate tasks to suitable team members.

 

Step 4: Start implementing 

Now it’s time to act on your data governance maturity assessment results and start implementing your data strategy. You can tackle this on your own or with the help of our experts.

Depending on your needs, we offer various support levels for implementing data governance structures. Our team can work with you to create policies, processes, and technology solutions that align with your goals. We also provide training for your team, empowering them to use the new structures to improve business performance across departments.

By partnering with us, you’ll benefit from our extensive experience in data governance, ensuring a smoother and more successful implementation. We’ll collaborate with your team to monitor progress, tackle challenges, and adjust as needed, making sure your data strategy evolves with your organization’s changing needs.

After assessing your data governance maturity, we get ready to put your data strategy into action. Choosing the right technology solutions to support your efforts is essential.

 

IBM Gold Partner logo

We suggest you consider IBM Cloud Pak for Data. This robust and comprehensive platform discreetly unifies data governance efforts, providing a harmonious blend of policy enforcement, AI capabilities, and unparalleled scalability.

Watson Knowledge Catalog will help you discover, understand, and manage your data. This includes creating a catalog of data assets, defining business terms and categories, establishing data quality rules, and enforcing data access policies.

Automated data lineage tools like MANTA will allow you to visualize the end-to-end journey of your data. This is crucial for understanding data’s origins, transformations, and destinations, aiding in compliance, troubleshooting, and data governance.

Whether you choose to implement your strategy independently or with our support, the key is to take action. Our team, highly-experienced in IBM technology, will ensure a seamless implementation.

Remember:
Data governance is implemented step-by-step, highlighting the need to begin with a smaller scope to showcase quick wins, gain executive buy-in and support from stakeholders.
• Iterative implementation process ensures continuous advancement of data governance program, fostering constant improvement and optimization.
• Data Governance is not just about technology or IT, as is commonly thought. It is a critical aspect of overall business strategy and operations.

 

Data consultants reviewing the data maturity assessment with clients.
It’s never too early – or too late – to conduct a data maturity assessment.

 

Start your Data Governance journey with Poslovna Inteligencija 

Every data-driven enterprise has to start somewhere. No matter where you are in your data governance journey, you need a smart strategy built around an expert audit of your current data estate. 

To help you reach your goals, our data maturity assessment addresses several key aspects of your organization’s data-related operations. Here are some of the main benefits of including it in your data governance strategy:

  • Identify gaps in business strategy: By evaluating the current state of data management, you can identify key weaknesses and prioritize areas for improvement.
  • Assign roles and responsibilities: By defining clear roles and responsibilities for data governance, you can streamline processes, and ensure efficient and secure data handling.
  • Discover data-related pain points: Pinpoint problems such as data silos, data quality issues, or compliance challenges, and address them effectively.
  • Take the first step toward achieving goals: Create a roadmap for achieving ambitious goals, providing a clear starting point and aligning data strategy with business objectives.
  • Cut costs, boost revenue: Identify areas for optimization in data management practices, reduce inefficiencies, and drive better decision-making to help your bottom line.
  • Improve customer experience (CX): Uncover opportunities to enhance customer experience, ensuring accurate and up-to-date customer data.

 

Curious about how the Data Maturity Assessment can take your Data Governance to the next level? Contact an expert at Poslovna Inteligencija. 

 

 

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Business & Data Analysis
Planning, OLAP & Reporting & Financial consolidation
Data Integration, Data Migration & Data Engineering
Data Governance, Data Quality & Master Data Management
Data Science
DWH models
XBRL point
ConQ Content Analytics
SynQ

I acknowledge that the personal data I submit through this contact form will be used by Poslovna inteligencija d.o.o. to contact me and provide information related to my inquiry/application. I consent to Poslovna inteligencija using my submitted personal data to send newsletters containing information about news, products, and services of Poslovna inteligencija. I also acknowledge that I can unsubscribe from receiving newsletters at any time by clicking the 'Unsubscribe' link in each newsletter. Comprehensive information related to my rights and the use of my personal data can be found in Poslovna inteligencija's Privacy Policy.:
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Please don't insert text in the box below!

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