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Demystifying Data Governance: Implementing Policy

In our four-part series, we explain the different components necessary to carry out an effective data governance policy and how dbSeer can help further level up your business. This blog post is the final one in our series. The first three parts of the series can be found on our website.

A data governance strategy is the lifeblood of a modern business. Data governance is the blueprint businesses develop to understand how best to acquire, make use of and properly discard their data.

In our series, we’ve covered defining what a data governance strategy is, the purpose behind a strategy and the people in your organization that can help move your strategy forward. The final step is to allocate the specific policies that clearly define the framework under which you’ll carry out your data governance strategy.

Two thirds of companies still find themselves without a strategy in place.  And yet, over 50% of companies are aware that data is a competitive differentiator for their business. Clearly having a data governance strategy in place will only benefit your company.

The Policies

Here are a few of the policies that businesses should consider for their data governance strategies:

  • Data Ownership
    • Make the roles in your organization (the people we discussed in this blog post) formalized under an official policy. This means indicating data ownership. This clearly defines responsibilities for your data stewards who oversee the quality, the safety, and the accessibility of your businesses’ data. This will minimize confusion and streamline who oversees your data governance strategy in your business.
  • Data Access
    • Who has access to your data? Employees should be able to turn to your data governance strategy and understand how data is accessed and what the levels of access are.
    • How is access to data sets granted? How is access to data sets revoked?
  • Data Retention
    • How long should data be kept? What is the policy around data deletion? Where should data be properly stored? These are all issues that should clearly be indicated in a data governance strategy.
  • Data Security
    • How is data kept secure? What happens if there is a breach of data, how should this breach be reported? To whom should it be reported to? These are all issues that should be clearly indicated in the data governance strategy.

Building the Handbook

Once a business decides which policies should be included, a formal handbook should be easily accessible with this data governance strategy clearly indicated. As the changing landscape around data and technology moves at lightning speed, policies should also keep up with the times. The handbook should be regularly updated, and employees should have regular opportunities for training and be provided the space to ask questions vis-à-vis the data governance strategy.

The handbook should not only indicate the policy but also clearly define what the parameters and issues might be. The language used should be clear, and accessible to every employee. This means using everyday language and reducing the use of technical terms, to ensure that employees can understand the set of policies in place.

The importance of implementing a data governance strategy should not be underestimated, as it helps your organization remain organized, fosters trust between employer and employee and continues to ensure your data remains protected at a time where data is everything.

Questions about how to design, and then implement, your data governance strategy? Inquire with dbSeer today: we can provide recommendations in line with your short to long term goals in line with your company objectives. It’s time to take your data to the next level, and we can help you do that.

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