Understanding Data Governance

Organisations are increasingly processing higher and more sensitive data volumes and often have large amounts of data coming and going daily. Organisations must manage the associated risks internally and externally and ensure the data is secure to maximise its value. This is the role of data governance, so let us look at how any organisation that works with big data can do so effectively to benefit their business.

What is data governance?

Data governance covers the methods of use, what situations and what action can be taken regarding data usage, movement and storage. It most critically defines who can take action regarding the organisation’s data. Businesses must offer the best customer experience to their product and service users and operate their business efficiently. In that case, they will be data users and must demonstrate that they take data seriously, and a robust data governance strategy will ensure this.

In this case, it’s vital to have the right people on the job to ensure that your framework is appropriately managed when it comes to data governance. If that means you need to hire employees, it pays to contact recruitment specialists such as Agile Recruit to ensure that you are getting in front of the right people.

What must the data governance strategy include?

A company’s data governance strategy must first identify the relevant data. Once the relevant data has been identified, the plan must clearly explain how data, common processes and responsibilities will be handled and managed. It should specify how your business benefits and how business drivers ensure your business governance framework is secure. It must be of a quality that provides security for stakeholders, data providers and data users and limits of use are recognised.

Data governance to drive GDPR compliance

The use of data is controlled by EU law and forms an essential element of the EU privacy and human rights laws. This ensures that data holders manage, distribute, and secure data in a known and understood way by data suppliers. A solid and relevant data governance framework should be designed to ensure compliance with all regulatory requirements. A competent data manager and the team will ensure that all operational procedures and responsibilities are covered.

Robust data management

Many benefits come with a strong data governance strategy, including:

 A holistic view of each customer to create consistency across business activities and entities

Consistent compliance with industry regulations as standards such as GDPR and PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards)

Data mapping and shared understanding of data location to make data assets more useable

Improved data quality and best code of practice compliance through improved data management

It’s important not to confuse data governance with data management and master data management and avoid thinking it is limited to data management. In reality, whilst a core component, it is just one element of a data governance strategy. Data governance is not data stewardship, merely the procedural and ethical approach to ensuring proper data stewardship.

The cloud increases the importance of data governance

There is a need for greater security as more businesses realise the benefits of cloud data processing and storage. The need for cloud and integrated platform service storage increases the likelihood that tasks such as infrastructure management, application development and security are delegated to third parties. This leads to decentralisation challenges and data sovereignty issues that must be solved within the data governance policy.


As businesses store, move and become responsible for ever-increasing data types and volumes and the need for personalised customer service and product identification grows, businesses must position themselves to understand and maximise their data governance fully. Now could be the time to review your data governance strategy and ensure you have the best team to grow and benefit your business securely.


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