Data Governance is for Offense and for Defense

Data Governance is for Offense and for Defense

StockSnap_FPMLZ0EJJ9_Football_OffenseDefenseDG_BPAn organization must concern itself with regulatory challenges (defense) as well as adapt to changing market demands, different situations, and new competition (offense). In American Football and World Soccer you need to play offense and defense well to succeed. Organizations must place importance on data governance and data intelligence to enable opportunities (offense) and mitigate risks (defense). In this blog post we will discuss some of the possible goals and benefits of data governance and which ones are offense-related and which ones are defense-related.

All organizations need to think about both offense and defense.  On the offensive side is getting trust in your data so that usage is optimized and getting a better understanding of your data so that better data-driven decisions are made. Check out our resources on trust here in this blog post. If critical decisions are to be made based on reports with incorrect data, then those decisions can hurt the organization’s growth strategy. On the defensive side is a focus on compliance and security.  If there is no way to understand what is considered sensitive information and what roles are engaged in performing processes using that information, then there is no way to conduct effective audits to ensure that rules around that data are being followed. Always start with why when implementing data governance and create your roadmap.

In many of our blog posts we focus on the offensive side of data governance but this time we will start the discussion on the defensive side of data governance.

Some possible defensive-related goals of data governance are:

  • Minimize risks
  • Establish internal rules and policies for data use
  • Implement compliance requirements
  • Improve external communication
  • Help to ensure the continued existence of the company through risk management and optimization

A possible defensive benefit of data governance is that it improves compliance with data regulations such as the GDPR and CCA. Data compliance pertains to the privacy of personal information and how organizations store, retrieve, and secure this sensitive data. Organizations are responsible for safeguarding this personal data. They must have data policies in place which should be contained in your data governance knowledge base. Compliance with regulations supports your organization by helping you build and maintain more trust and relationships with your contacts, customers, employees (current and former), students, partners, government agencies and the public.

Data governance ensures that sensitive data is managed and organized in a way that enables organiztions them to meet their interanl requirements along with legal and governmental regulations. Data governance involves the process of managing organizational data’s usability, security, availability, and quality using internally set rules and policies. Without data governance, data fails to meet regulations and the data quality is not at the level that it should be. The data also risks being exposed to security threats that would compromise its integrity.

Now let’s discuss the offensive side of data governance. Some possible offensive-related goals of data governance are:

  • Improve internal communication and decision-making
  • Increase the value and trust of data
  • Facilitate the administration of the data including data requests
  • Save staff time with easier finding of information
  • Reduce costs

Some of the possible offensive benefits of data governance are:

  • Enables better and more comprehensive decision making by having consistent, uniform data across the organization that is trusted and understood
  • Ensures clear points of engagement for data requests with data consumers, thereby helping organization processes be more scalable
  • Reduces costs by having central control mechanisms such as a central knowledge base
  • Increases efficiency by having data-related processes in place as well as by enhancing the ability to reuse data, cut down on data silos and making it easier to find information about data
  • Provides confidence in the quality of data
  • Creates documentation of data systems, data processes and data policies

Hopefully, this blog post is a reminder to think offensively and defensively for your organization. Data governance, data intelligence, and compliance does take time. A smart organization takes this challenge by using just-in-time data governance with a customer service approach platform (like the Data Cookbook) and goes above and beyond doing the bare minimum to comply. The benefits are realized after sound data governance is implemented. If you would like additional resources (blog posts, recorded webinars, or videos) on data intelligence or data governance then click here.

IData has a solution, the Data Cookbook, that can aid the employees and the organization in its data governance, data intelligence, data stewardship and data quality initiatives. IData also has experts that can assist with data governance, reporting, integration and other technology services on an as needed basis. Feel free to contact us and let us know how we can assist.

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Jim Walery
About the Author

Jim Walery is a marketing professional who has been providing marketing services to technology companies for over 20 years and specifically those in higher education since 2010. Jim assists in getting the word out about the community via a variety of channels. Jim is knowledgeable in social media, blogging, collateral creation and website content. He is Inbound Marketing certified by HubSpot. Jim holds a B.A. from University of California, Irvine and a M.A. from Webster University. Jim can be reached at jwalery[at]

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