Deploying an effective data governance strategy is becoming a crucial move for data-driven businesses. And while many view data governance as a way to avoid burdensome fines or penalties—which it accomplishes—it has evolved in recent years to do much more than simply meet compliance requirements. As nearly every modern organization strives to become more data-driven, a successful data governance strategy is key to breaking down silos, accelerating company-wide productivity, and streamlining data processes.
Anthony Marshall Fazio, our Senior Solutions Engineer, recently joined other data management leaders during a panel at the 2022 CDO & Data Leaders’ Global Summit. Together, they shared their thoughts during a lively discussion entitled “Data Governance—A Roadblock or Accelerator of Business?” Read on for highlights from their thought-provoking conversation, and hear why data lineage plays a key role in a successful data governance strategy.
Setting Up Your Data Governance Strategy for Success
To begin, communication is a critical component of any successful data governance strategy. It starts by setting expectations for data governance, using the proper channels to highlight priorities and concerns, and recognizing that governance initiatives are a joint business effort among different teams within your organization.
Clearly defining a common data governance structure, the roles and responsibilities within it, and the councils and forums of engagement inherent to the structure is also necessary for a successful strategy. “You have to be prescriptive in defining a common data governance structure for your organization,” Fazio explained during the panel. “It is likely that every part of your business is creating or using data in some capacity, so it’s important to design a data governance structure with them in mind.”
The positive impact of an effective data governance strategy is undeniable. “You will have increased productivity across the board, along with data transformation,” he added. “Another big benefit is having increased trust and transparency and a better understanding of the accuracy and trajectory of the data you are working with. You are then able to make more informed decisions going forward.”
The Role of Data Lineage in Your Governance Strategy
A data lineage solution can help your organization alleviate the complexities of rolling out governance initiatives. By harnessing data lineage, you can shift from optimistic guesswork to actionable intelligence, putting you in a place to succeed. Even more importantly, you can quickly gain more reliable insights to avoid regulatory complexities and scrutiny.
“Trying to wrap your head around enormous complexity from the onset is a recipe for failure,” said Fazio. “In the face of this—having comprehensive and accurate data lineage available will help you identify the most critical resources for the teams, departments, and decision-makers that need it most. Analyzing those sources upfront and cultivating ongoing data lineage will put you in a position for successful governance initiatives.”
Ideally, this lineage should be automated. Why? First, it reduces the burden of costly and time-consuming manual lineage mapping that many companies still rely on. Moreover, automated lineage is better able to accommodate different audiences within your organization. “You could have a technical appraisal or lineage of these different systems to fulfill the governance requirements, but then a semantic layer or abstraction to accommodate the needs of less technical individuals in the organization,” said Fazio.
Throughout the panel, it was clear that a well-executed data governance strategy can serve as an effective business accelerator. If executed poorly, however, it can become a roadblock. By approaching data governance strategically and harnessing data lineage to drive decision-making, your organization can set itself up for success as it embarks on a data governance journey.