What is data governance? What do enterprises need to know about data governance? With “Governance” being part of our name, you can guess how many questions we have to field about data governance. And we love it! Today we’re taking things back to the basics with a general overview of the definition of data governance and what it means for enterprises.

Data governance refers to the administration of a company’s data assets, and encompasses organizational structures, accountabilities, standards, processes, and tools to support existing and future business needs. Those data requirements include:

  • Quality and accuracy
  • Privacy and security
  • Broad and timely availability
  • Transparency and comprehension
  • Adherence to external conventions and practices
  • Operational consistency
  • Enterprise technical architecture and commensurate investments
  • Metrics for tracking these items

A standard enterprise data governance structure does not exist, though there are lots of proposed models all over the internet. But when did one size really fit all? Much depends on existing organizations, degrees of autonomy, and technical architectures.

What Are the Key Elements of Data Governance for Enterprises?

Rather than repeating what has been well-documented in other places, we refer you to an excellent summary in CIO Magazine. The article explains that data governance is a big umbrella that includes all corporate activities pertaining to data:

  • Architecture
  • Design
  • Operations
  • Security
  • Interoperability
  • Unstructured assets
  • Reference sources
  • Standards
  • Business intelligence
  • Metadata
  • Quality

We also like the information available at the Data Governance Institute. The site is a cornucopia of practical information, but we love to quote a small section that explains WHEN your business should consider formal data governance.

Organizations need to move from informal governance to formal Data Governance when one of four situations occur:

  • The organization gets so large that traditional management isn’t able to address data-related cross-functional activities.
  • The organization’s data systems get so complicated that traditional management isn’t able to address data-related cross-functional activities.
  • The organization’s Data Architects, SOA teams, or other horizontally-focused groups need the support of a cross-functional program that takes an enterprise (rather than siloed) view of data concerns and choices.
  • Regulation, compliance, or contractual requirements call for formal Data Governance.

TechTarget is great if you want to expand your knowledge and understand different viewpoints. Particularly noteworthy are their descriptions of typical data governance roles and responsibilities in large organizations. Briefly, they include:

  • Chief Data Officer
  • Data Governance Manager and team
  • Data Governance Committee
  • Data Stewards

Data Governance In Business Context

To get a better understanding of the data governance definition, it’s helpful to understand the broader business context of data governance. Every large enterprise is mostly or entirely dependent on data. When correct data is not available in a timely manner for employees who depend on it, severe problems are often the result. For example, without data governance, enterprises can struggle with:

  • Suboptimal decision-making
  • Regulatory non-compliance
  • Compromised data security
  • Poor customer service
  • Inefficiencies that result in reduced revenue and profitability

Beyond day-to-day operations, it’s important to consider the burden of organizational silos and the resulting inability to exploit valuable data resources in other parts of the company. The most successful enterprises foster company-wide data transparency, provide a well-organized enterprise data catalog, and maximize data access opportunities for employees.

As well, great leaders promote well-understood standards that ensure consistency and a complete understanding of every data item, including the lineage of each value, regardless of where the item lives in the maze of databases and applications.

Companies that undertake such efforts for data governance realize the following benefits:

  • Better and faster decisions
  • Improved risk management
  • Regulatory compliance – no fines, no jail time
  • Expense reductions
  • Increased trust and credibility with employees, customers, and suppliers

These benefits reflect the importance of data governance. Until a few years ago, data efforts were, to a great extent, an expensive, labor-intensive undertaking. For the largest enterprises, such a venture was unimaginable due to the incomprehensible complexity of their IT environments. The required tools were simply not available. Now enterprises have a selection of vendors to help accelerate data governance efforts, including Orion Governance’s own Enterprise Information Intelligence Graph (EIIG).

How Does Orion Governance Add Value?

We focus on automating governance operations and ensuring accountabilities (regardless of where they are situated) don’t fall through the cracks. This is why we created the Orion Enterprise Information Intelligence Graph (EIIG), a self-defined data fabric that underpins a set of capabilities and features designed explicitly to address the governance challenges described above.

EIIG can accelerate data governance with metadata by automatically ingesting metadata from every corner of the enterprise, including databases, applications, programming languages, ETL jobs, BI reports, operational scripts and so forth. The platform has no technology access limitations. These are just a few of the reasons why Orion Governance was named the top data governance solution provider by GRC Outlook.

The metadata and machine learning combine to create an enterprise ontology upon which the knowledge graph is based. The resulting deliverables for end-users are:

  • A visual, drill-down graph of the enterprise data fabric
  • Self-service data extraction
  • Dynamic data catalog
  • End-to-end data lineage
  • Impact analysis
  • Active metadata
  • Metadata analytics
  • Trust and quality scoring
  • Tools to identify duplication and redundancy
  • … and much more

How does EIIG support data governance in the digital age? It boils down to this: Enterprises can’t govern what they can’t see or understand. When enterprises compare the Orion Governance platform to those of our competitors, they realize that other solutions are much less comprehensive and cannot match what Orion offers.

How Can Orion Governance Assist Your Data Governance Journey?

The data governance journey can be stressful but with Orion, enterprises are able to accelerate data governance efforts and meet their business goals.

Are you ready to be the hero at your organization? Contact Orion today with any questions you may have about data governance. Want to see a demo or proof of concept that shows how Orion Governance works with your data governance efforts? We’d be happy to schedule a call.

What is data governance image

Sign Up for a FREE Proof of Concept

Subscribe Today

Join the Orion Governance email list

Curious About Orion Governance?

Ask an EIIG Expert and See How Orion Governance Works for You

Recent Blogs