Data Governance Crucial To Protect, Leverage Valuable IT Assets

A recent Gartner report spotlights the importance of having sound data governance in place. Learn more about data governance and what your company can do.

recent Gartner report highlights some of the noted concerns and issues that arise internally and regulatorily for organizations that don’t have a clear focus on data governance.

Focusing on data policies helps reduce risks related to the collection, storage, security and transfer of data. Here’s a closer look at what data governance is and how to use it to benefit your business.

What Is Data Governance?

Data governance is the collective policies and processes an organization uses to manage data assets. It includes issues that include stewardship, security, privacy, integrity, usability, compliance, availability and integration. In addition, data governance addresses the roles and responsibilities of staff and others regarding data and the management of data flows internally and externally.

What Are the Benefits of Data Governance?

There are several core advantages to having sound data governance. One of the most opportunistic centers around the changing role of data itself.

Data today is more than a means to an end. It is unquestionably a valuable tool that can be used to drive better decision-making and insights. But today, smart organizations are also looking at how data can be a commodity, packaged, presented and sold to supplement existing business streams or create new ones.

Among the other most crucial benefits are:

  • Reduced costs due to improved data management processes
  • Better regulation and compliance adherence
  • Improved transparency about data-related activities
  • Better training opportunities for staff on the use and protection of data
  • Opportunity to standardize procedures, systems, policies and standards
  • Faster resolution of data-related issues

Why Are Big Data Compliance Issues in 2020?

As businesses generate, collect and value data more than ever, government agencies are passing strict guidelines that control how that data is used. Domestically, the most sweeping state data law is the California Consumer Protection Act, which went into effect on January 1, 2020. It gives state residents the right to know what data is collected, how it’s used, with whom it’s shared, to whom it’s sold and have it deleted if requested.

In 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was enacted, providing similar protections to those living in the European Union.

Increased regulatory scrutiny is a direct byproduct of the growth in data creation and use. More states, provinces and regions are likely to follow the EU’s and California’s lead. Having different guidelines, requirements and consequences for noncompliance are a big reason why data governance should be at the forefront of your business strategy for 2020.

What Does Data Governance Mean For My Company?

The Gartner report focused on four key themes related to technology and data. While the report is geared towards audit preparation, the four areas are salient for businesses looking to firm up data governance and be ready for auditor questions:

  • Increased Organizational Complexity. Growth demands and digitalization mean businesses need to be ever-vigilant about cybersecurity and IT governance issues.
  • Raised Stakes for Data Management. Gartner notes that data is “a key differentiator” today for organizations wanting to compete and gain efficiency. “Clear governance strategies are essential to harnessing the power of big data, meeting regulatory requirements and making the most of new digital technologies,” the report states. “Despite the strategic importance of data, organizations have been slow to adopt data governance frameworks, putting them at risk for large fines, poor decision making and misallocation of critical resources.”
  • Digital Business Transformation. Data and new technology are at the core of digital transformation, reinforcing the importance of good data governance.
  • Geopolitical and Regulatory Volatility. Trade tensions, global supply chains and the regulatory landscape mean third parties are increasingly interested in your data, making the need for internal data controls all the more essential.

Nexus IT helps companies with IT consulting, assessment, project management and managed services. Let our experts help your company develop, test and improve your data governance and related solutions. To learn more, contact us today.