Why Data Governance Matters to Businesses Large and Small

“When we talk about assets on the balance sheet, data deserves its own row” – Satya Nadella, Chairman and CEO at Microsoft.

Digitization is moving at an accelerated rate. The speed to a large extent is attributed to the impact of COVID-19 on businesses around the world. We are witnessing exponential growth in data. Over the next five years, global data creation is projected to grow to more than 180 zettabytes (Statista). Just in case you are wondering how much is 1 zettabyte, it is equivalent to about 250 billion DVDs!

Across industries, all organizations, regardless of size, deal in data. From Chatbots to predictive analytics used to determine customer responses or purchases, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has further revolutionized the ways businesses operate. As more and more organizations embrace technology-based platforms, whether they are cloud-based or on-premises, data keeps getting accumulated. It is one thing to collect mountains of data and quite another to store it in meaningful ways that help you make informed business decisions.

It is from here the meaning of data governance can be extracted. The term “data governance” refers to managing data as a strategic asset to your business. It is a set of guidelines and practices that ensure high-quality output across business functions through the understanding of reliable and well-managed data.

What Is Cloud Data Governance?

Cloud data governance is nothing but a set of principles around data quality, availability, integrity, usage, and storing that data in a secure cloud environment to draw insights and achieve business KPIs and success.

What Are the Benefits of Data Governance?

1. Enhanced Quality: One of the greatest challenges organizations are faced with today is unstructured data sitting on disparate systems. With data governance, you are in the know of all data in one place, you know the data source, lifetime value of the data, etc.

2. Improved efficiency: When the data underlying business processes is reliable, this empowers stakeholders to take strategic actions. For example, marketing and sales intelligence platforms enable a Chief Marketing Officer to build a bigger pipeline by generating better leads with targeted campaigns, to the right person, at the right time. Well-governed data enables you to draw meaningful insights from the data analytics thereby improving operational efficiency. An easy example of operational efficiency is the use of process mining in the running of a pizza store. It starts with an order placement for a type of pizza and ends when the pizza is delivered. Companies can use process mining for faster and more accurate analysis of their processes. The event logs can provide performance metrics and that can act as a barometer to identify bottlenecks and costly steps to optimize speed. Once a solution is found and implemented, you will see reduced time and effort into it thereby helping you to increase operational efficiency in your production process.

3. Greater profits: Accurate data results in sound decision making. There is a reason the tech giant, Amazon, instills a data-driven culture in its organization. It is the data that fuels recommendations, trends, and a deep understanding of consumer behavior that leads companies to enhance their product or service offerings, meet customer requirements, gain a competitive edge and thus generate greater profits.

Cloud Data Governance and Its Relation to Data Privacy and Ethics

Over the years, data privacy has become a buzzword. In July 2019, the Federal Trade Commission voted to approve fining Facebook around $5B to finally settle the investigation into the data breach. It was a violation of the Data Protection Act because of which France fined Google $120M and Amazon $42M for dropping tracking cookies without consent.

Privacy regulations are becoming more and more stringent: GDPR, ePrivacy, and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), to name a few. In this 2021 study, the average total cost of a data breach increased by nearly 10% to $4.24M, the highest ever recorded.

The key takeaway is the need to build an ethical data culture; that is, a framework within which ethical decisions can be made with and about data. To put this to practice, you must leverage all your organizational change management capabilities to drive awareness and adoption of a data ethics mindset.

How to Identify if Your Organization Is Facing a Data Governance Problem?

The C-suite of your organization will play a critical role in identifying, as well as crafting, a data governance framework. Do not let the hard work deter you from digging deeper into the data management issues. It does not matter whether you work at a big or small company; your business will profit from the benefits that come with data governance.

Ask yourself:

  • Do you have visibility into what data exists within the organization?
  • Is there clarity around ownership of the data?
  • What are the perceived data quality issues resulting from the lack of metadata?
  • Is there confusion among employees on understanding common terminologies?
  • Is there duplicity of work?

If your answer to any of the above questions is a resounding yes, then you have a data governance problem. It is time to act by designing and implementing a data governance program to ensure visibility into the organizations’ data assets.

Microsoft And Data Governance

Microsoft has invested over USD $1B annually in cybersecurity research and development. It strives to build a Zero Trust mindset to safeguard the future of security. Check out this blog on ‘Microsoft surpasses $10 billion in security business revenue, more than 40 percent year-over-year growth‘ to learn more of its commitment to cybersecurity. Alphavima’s team of experts uses Microsoft Azure to implement a flexible and cost-effective cloud migration.  Want to move to the cloud? Get in touch with Alphavima for your cloud assessment requirement & strategy formulation.