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Enterprise Data Management

Modern Data Governance - Benefits and Best Practices

Chandan Gaur | 31 Jan 2024

Modern Data Governance - Tools, Benefits and Best Practices

What is Modern Data Governance?

Modern Data Governance is the process and management of data availability, usability, integrity, and security of data used in an enterprise. It includes all the steps from storing the data by securing it from any mishap. It is not just about technology. Responsible for the particular data asset along with the technology.

It is also used at a maturity level in an organization to ensure critical and vital data is managed and protected. This clarifies the information, which helps define the Decision-Making processes around data. It is a strategic, long-term process. It is essential for Finance and Insurance organizations, especially those with regulatory compliance. These organizations must have formal data management processes to govern data throughout its life cycle. It can also enable the authorization of classified data to particular users.

Big Data Architecture helps design the Data Pipeline with the various requirements of either the Batch Processing System or Stream Processing System.

The ultimate goal of Data Governance is to establish a set of processes and procedures to integrate, protect, standardize, and store corporate data. 

Apart from these, all the key goals include,

  1. Serve as the focal point for all data risk management issues.
  2. Clearly understand data ownership, accountability, users, and the correct data source.
  3. Reduce compliance and regulatory risk and the operational risk associated with internal operations based on inconsistent or erroneous data.
  4. Transmission of accurate, reliable, and timely data contributes to optimal operational and financial performance.
  5. Data reconciliation controls should be automated to improve operational efficiency.
  6. Provide transparency and proof that data is accurate and timely.
  7. Provide business and technical oversight for any data or information definitional changes.
Data Lake is a secured centralized repository that stores data in its original form, ready for analysis. It uses a flat architecture to store data.

What is the architecture for Modern Data Governance?

It forms an essential bridge between the enterprise's theoretical strategies and practical implementation.

One must know:

1. It is only a part of Data management. It plans, monitors, and enforces control for quality, security, etc.
2. Data architecture is two domains still under development and research validation. While data architecture helps with it, it's still important to remember that it's a two-way path.

Based on the DAMA (Data Management Association) Knowledge Areas, the above data management model means that the data architecture describes the information value chain and data flow in detail. Data modeling and design involve developing a data model representing your data requirements. Data security is designed by Data Architecture and implemented in data processing systems. It addresses organizational aspects of data management, such as strategies, policies, processes, and roles. It is an overarching part of all other data management functional areas that intersect with data architecture.

What is a Data Governance Framework?

The insights and decisions that data analysis and visualization provide are as valid and accurate as the data they are based on. If the underlying data quality is "dirty," i.e., it is inaccurate, incomplete, or inconsistent, the value that can be derived from it is limited, and effective decision-making is affected. This is where it comes into play.

1. Building the foundation for effective governance

The methods have become more popular as digital transformation projects have expanded. Several components should be included in data governance projects for them to be successful, including:

2. Standards for data

One should produce data dictionaries, taxonomies, and business glossaries to clarify data definitions and business. This documentation clears up any ambiguity in dialogues, specifically regarding metrics and reporting. It also helps stakeholders view the data architecture, allowing the teams to innovate and automate the processes.

3. Organizational structure and data processes

Thanks to data governance protocols, end users can see how data is processed within an organization. This includes regulatory data regulations, data refresh cadences, PII limits, and data access. This form of documentation also aids organizational structure by defining the tasks and responsibilities of various jobs concerning data administration and maintenance.

4. Technology

Data governance technologies, such as metadata management systems, help to support data processes and standards. One can use these tools to store and safeguard data that an organization manages—documentation on business definitions, data logs, data owners, and database information. Data Governance tools can also integrate self-service data analytics tools, allowing analysts to query and visualize various data sets for reporting and innovation projects.

Augmented Data Management applies artificial intelligence (AI) to improve or automate data management processes. Know about: Inception of Augmented Data Management

Why does Modern Data Governance matter?

The organization also needs to ensure the safety of all data, called Data Security, effective data masking of personal data (like SSN passwords), and compliance with new data protection and privacy laws like GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation).

An effective Governance can provide a solution to handle this kind of problem. It also provides a complete audit report of who did what with which data. It is easier for the organization to trace if something went wrong.

How to adopt Modern Data Governance?

Before beginning with the  Governance, the organization needs to find where improvements are required in the system. Firstly, choose a specific dataset and implement it for all the datasets.

After choosing the dataset and the problem, define different teams' roles, responsibilities, and processes. The duties can be understanding data, cleaning the data, data transformation or enrichment, and, in the end, monitoring. There should be one team for each of the processes. Initiating this step on the Big Data platform also helps improve data quality. Any particular dataset and dataset owner will be responsible for the data integrity and provide the technology to ensure the integrity of the assets remains high.

After the integrity and all processes, an organization must change the culture of the organization to be master data-based rather than transaction data-based. Finally, a feedback mechanism helps improve the process. Its users have the right to raise any feedback.

Best Practices of Modern Data-Governance

best-practices-of-modern-data-governanceHowever, the organizational framework alone is insufficient. Six essential best practices are required to ensure that data governance adds value.

1. Draw the attention of senior management.

Its success necessitates buy-in from business leadership. 

1. The DMO's initial step is to meet with the C-suite to learn about their needs, discuss current data difficulties and constraints, and clarify data governance's function. 

2. The next step is forming a senior management data governance council. The council will lead the governance strategy toward business needs. They will supervise and approve initiatives to drive improvement in collaboration with the DMO.

3. After that, the DMO and the governing council should work together to identify a set of data domains and choose the business executives who will lead them. These executives lead day-to-day governance efforts, define data items, and establish quality standards. 


Benefits of having top-down business-leadership buy-in:

  • It avoids the usual difficulties of role definition and empowerment. 
  • On the business side, data stewards will recognize that the project is a top priority for the company and set aside time to handle it. 
  • It also allows for fast resolution of data ownership disputes.

2. Use primary transformation themes.

Link governance initiatives to ongoing transformation efforts with CEO attention, such as digitization, omnichannel enablement, or enterprise-resource-planning modernization, to guarantee that governance efforts add value. These initiatives are usually reliant on the availability and quality of data.

Senior leadership buy-in is simplified, and the organizational structure is changed when governance is linked to transformation themes. Such approaches push data accountability and governance to product teams, integrating it at production and consumption rather than governance functioning independently.

3. Determine which data assets should be prioritized and where data leadership should be focused.

Many companies take a holistic approach to data governance, examining all data assets simultaneously. However, relative development in any specific area would be modest with such a broad scope, and there is a risk that it will not tie efforts to business demands. Data assets should be prioritized in two ways to be successful: by domains and by data inside each domain.

  • By Domains: To build a road map for domain deployment, the data council, with the cooperation of the DMO, should prioritize domains based on transformational initiatives, regulatory requirements, and other inputs. The organization should then swiftly roll out priority domains, starting from 2 to 3, to fully operational each domain in several months.
  • By data inside each domain: Prioritize data assets within each domain and domain by specifying a level of criticality (and accompanying care) for each data element. Critical elements, such as a customer's name or address, should be given special attention, including ongoing quality monitoring and transparent flow tracking across the organization. In contrast, elements used less frequently in analytics, reporting, or business operations (such as a customer's academic degree) may benefit from ad hoc quality monitoring without tracking. 

4. Use the appropriate level of governance

Organizations and industries have a wide range of data governance programs. 

1. Leading companies use a "needs-based" strategy, adopting the appropriate amount of governance sophistication for their business and then altering the severity level by data type.

2. The design of businesses and organizations should be tailored to the level of regulation and data complexity they confront. Organizations with several different businesses across multiple countries have more complicated requirements than those with a single firm; similarly, a high rate of data change or a low level of technology automation increases data complexity.

3. Adjust the level of governance rigor across data sets as you develop the appropriate level of governance for the organization as a whole. Legacy data standards in many organizations impose conservative quality and access limits across the board. While this reduces risk, it can also hinder innovation. Leading companies balance opportunities and threats intelligently and distinguish governance by the data set.

5. Decide on an incremental and focused implementation strategy

Apply iterative concepts to day-to-day governance. If a backlog of known data-quality issues exists, assess and reprioritize daily, working to optimize the benefit to the business as priorities move. Even if the solution isn't flawless, push to enable priority use cases as soon as possible. 

This customized approach should be supported and accelerated by data governance, which should focus on resolving availability and quality issues and developing effective master data management.

6. Inspire enthusiasm for data.

Enthusiasm and dedication to data enablement play a crucial role in ensuring the high quality and safety of data. Leading companies understand this and invest in change management strategies to convert skeptics into data supporters. This aspect of the program can be the most challenging, as it requires employees to actively use and share data, while also striving to improve its quality at the source.

To encourage the appropriate behavior, successful companies employ a combination of interventions:

Role modeling by the CEO and other top leaders, 
  • Acknowledgment for high-quality,
  • Responsive suppliers,
  • Innovative demonstrated use cases,
  • Training qualifications and information about data-related job prospects 

leveraging data and analytics successes to generate enthusiasm through events, publications, and data art.

Top Modern Data Governance Tools

It is the most important part of organizations across the world. A company’s growth is inevitable with its better. Many different tools built by various organizations provide this support to companies.

Several of its tools are available in the market, and their ranking varies based on different references and parameters.

1. Alation

Founded in 2012, Alation initially provided a data catalog platform to help companies manage their inventory and give access to their data. Alation Data Catalog remains its flagship product, but it released a related tool in September 2021. Alation App software is designed to simplify providing secure access to trusted data across IT systems, including hybrid cloud and multi-cloud computing environments.

2. Collibra

Collibra Data Governance automates key governance and stewardship tasks to keep it up to date as your business evolves. It leverages active metadata to support your organization's data up-to-date across all sources and environments.

3. Ataccama

Using a “self-driving” approach designed to automate as much as possible to improve efficiency and usability, Ataccama ONE automatically calculates data quality, classifies data, and helps prioritize and focus. Security and privacy policies can be automatically applied to all relevant data assets, so data is available to the people who need it when they need it.

4. Erwin

Acquired by Quest Software in December 2020, Erwin is a fully configurable, on-demand Impact Analyst that automatically integrates metadata from disparate data sources into a central data catalog to consolidate critical insights. Provide access through role-based contextual views, including dashboards.

5. Informatica

Informatica Data Governance includes data catalog, privacy, and data quality capabilities in an end-to-end governance solution. The company recently launched a Cloud Data Catalog. It is a comprehensive SaaS offering that combines data cataloging, data quality, and AI governance with integrated metadata-driven intelligence in the cloud.

6. Apache Atlas

Apache Atlas is a tool that makes it easy to process and maintain metadata—designed to share data across multiple tools. Provides platform independent governance. It also includes metadata management and governance capabilities for organizations to catalog their data assets.

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Data governance helps enterprises make sure essential data is governed and protected. To learn more data management, we recommend taking the following steps -