WHAT IS DATA GOVERNANCE?
The growth of data has never been greater in terms of variety, volume and velocity, and this is true for both operational and informational data and advanced analytics.
By 2025, the amount of data is expected to quadruple. The number of companies with more than 100 TB of unstructured data has doubled since 2016. Data sources have multiplied with social networks, mobile apps and data sensors.
In organizations, data is increasingly present, used, shared, and its access is democratized. However, we are seeing more and more cybersecurity breaches and data fraud, and sometimes bad decisions are made due to poor data quality. Not to mention that regulatory instances are clarifying and increasing standards and regulations especially on personal and confidential data so that it is managed in a highly secure manner. This is why good data governance is absolutely essential.
Why should you value your data?
Data is a valuable asset that brings value to organizations. Data is valued to modernize organizations that become innovative. Organizations that manage, govern, and secure the highly valuable asset of its data increase its chances of surviving in today’s digital age.
What is data governance?
According to DAMA (DATA Management Association), data governance is the exercise of authority and control (planning, monitoring, enforcement) over the management of data assets.
Governance should provide the principles, policies, processes, framework, and metrics to manage data as an asset and guide data management activities at all levels.
Governance guides the disciplines of data management. Data governance guides and ensures that data management is practiced according to established policies and practices.
Governance is therefore embedded in data management disciplines such as architecture, modeling, storage, cybersecurity and master data management.
How do you implement good data governance?
Successful governance implementation relies on the triad of: people, process and technology.
Implementing governance starts with people:
- so that the standards the organization wants to put in place are defined, implemented and followed
- so that the standards are well understood by the data management team members
Executive support is essential for any governance initiative. Multiple people are typically involved, as the data lifecycle is often complex, cutting across business functions. An organizational structure will clarify roles and responsibilities. The governance group is different from IT and is at the same level as the IT group. We often see a chief data officer and a data steward to set up and ensure the governance is enforced. Because data is a non-tangible asset, the data steward does a lot of groundwork to ensure that standards are understood and enforced with data owners.
Governance processes typically cover the following components:
- Ensuring adherence to compliance requirements
- Issuing policies and standards in Data Management
- Ensuring adherence to development project policies and standards
- Create and manage metadata
- Document business rules, data quality rules, data standards
- Facilitate data quality issue management and resolution
- Monitoring of improvement
For both data governance and data management, on the technology side, there are several tools available. There are tools for cataloging and classifying data as well as maintaining the definition of reference data, implementing security, authentication and authorization of access and visibility control of sensitive data, anonymizing data, sending alerts of non-compliance, etc.
Microsoft’s Azure Purview tool offers functionality on metadata import, data classification, lineage and other features that come in the roadmap.
Data regulation and governance:
The rules and regulations around privacy and confidentiality of personal data are increasing dramatically as access to data becomes more democratic and the amount of information available increases. Organizations must comply with these standards and regulations. Organizations that fail to do so can be heavily penalized. This requires them to have strong data governance and controls over data traceability and privacy.
What are the laws on data management?
The rules and regulations regarding the protection and privacy of personal data are increasing dramatically as access to data becomes more democratic and the amount of information available increases.
There are a few laws that govern data management. Here is an overview:
- In Quebec, Bill 64 (PL-64) includes the obligation for all businesses to establish and implement policies and practices that govern their data governance with respect to personal information. Companies must publish these policies on their website.
- In Canada, Bill C-11 is a reform that is being formalized with the scope of personal information and data protection.
- In Europe, there is already in place, the RGPD or the General Data Protection Regulation.
It is therefore necessary that organizations prepare for new data governance practices.
What is Azure Purview?
Azure Purview is a cloud service from Microsoft that allows you to quickly deploy a unified solution to support data governance. Azure Purview helps govern local, multi-cloud and software as a service (SaaS) data by creating a unified map of your data assets. The catalog of your information assets is built with the automated data discovery engine, classification of sensitive data, and end-to-end data traceability.