Three steps to ensuring data you can trust

A data governance framework organizes people, processes and technologies together to create a paradigm of how data is managed, secured, and distributed. But the path to a data governance framework often seems difficult to embark upon. Here are three steps to help you get started:

Step 1: Discover and cleanse your data

Your challenge is to overcome these obstacles by bringing clarity, transparency, and accessibility to your data assets. You have to do this wherever this data warehouse resides: within enterprise apps like Salesforce.com, Microsoft Dynamics, or SAP; a traditional data warehouse; or in a cloud data lake. You need to establish proper data screening so you can make sure you have the entire view of data sources and data streams coming into and out of your organization.

Step 2: Organize data you can trust and empower people

While step 1 helped to ensure that the incoming data assets are identified, documented and trusted, now it is time to organize the assets for massive consumption by an extended network of data users who will use it within the organization.

Step 3: Automate your data pipelines and enable data access

Now that your data is fully under control, it is time to extract all its value by delivering it at scale to a wide audience of authorized humans and machines. In the digital era, scaling is a lot about automation. In the second step of this approach, we saw how important it was to have people engaged in the data governance process, but the risk is that they become the bottleneck. That’s why you need to augment your employees’ skills, free them from repetitive tasks, and make sure that the policies that they have defined can be applied on a systematic basis across data flows.

The final task: Enforcement and communication

All of the topics above cover key focus areas to be considered when building a data governance framework. Building the framework is important — but enforcing it is key. A data governance process must be created on the heels of the framework to ensure success. Some organizations create a data governance council — a single department that controls everything. Smaller organizations may appoint a data steward to manage the data governance processes. Once your data governance framework is in place and is being rolled out, it needs to be communicated to all areas of the business. Make it resonate with employees by demonstrating how this framework will help carry out your company’s vision for the future. As with any new policy or standard, employee awareness and buy-in is important to success; and this holds true with the data governance framework.

There is certainly no shortage of data, and building a data governance framework is a challenge many enterprises face. With any Cloud base systems, you can build a systematic path to get to the data you can trust. A path that is repeatable and scalable to handle the seemingly unending flow of data to make it your most trusted asset.

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