How to Build a Data Governance-Centric Company Culture

How to Build a Data Governance-Centric Company Culture

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How to Build a Data Governance-Centric Company Culture

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Prioritizing data governance can provide organizations with a significant competitive advantage. However, according to a Gartner survey, more than 90% of data governance projects struggle to achieve their objectives. From lack of support from senior executives to confusion surrounding roles and responsibilities, this underperformance can be attributed to various factors. Consequently, cultivating a data governance-centric company culture is more critical than ever. Such a culture is indispensable for ensuring data accuracy, security, and compliance while unlocking the full potential of data to inform strategic decisions. In this blog, we will delve into the key strategies for establishing a data governance-centric company culture that empowers employees and maximizes the value derived from data.

Ensure Leadership Commitment

Building a data governance-centric culture begins with solid leadership at the helm. Leadership commitment is the cornerstone of shaping an organizational culture that places a premium on data governance. It encompasses leaders at every level, from the CEO to the CDO and CISO, who need to grasp the strategic significance of data and actively champion its governance within the company. This commitment should be evident not only in their words but also in their actions, serving as a guiding principle that permeates throughout the organization.

Leaders should:

  • Clearly articulate the importance of data governance in achieving business goals
  • Allocate resources and budget for data governance initiatives
  • Lead by example by adhering to data governance policies themselves

Define Clear Roles and Responsibilities

In a data governance-centric culture, everyone in the organization should understand their roles and responsibilities related to data management. Define clear job descriptions and expectations. Include roles such as:  

Data Owners: Data owners are accountable for the overall governance and decision-making related to specific datasets or data assets.

Data stewards: Data stewards are individuals responsible for the quality, integrity, and overall management of specific sets of data or data domains.   

Data Custodians: Data custodians are responsible for the technical aspects of data management, including storage, maintenance, and protection. 

These roles should collaborate closely to ensure comprehensive data governance within an organization.

Establish Data Governance Policies and Procedures

Establish clear policies and procedures to ensure consistency and adherence to data governance principles. These should cover data classification, access controls, retention, privacy, and security. Ensure these policies are easily accessible to all employees and regularly updated to reflect evolving regulatory requirements and industry best practices.

Consider Data Utilization

Data governance should complement, not complicate, the daily activities of its members. Access to data is pivotal for informed decision-making and analytical insights. So, when employees encounter obstacles in obtaining the required data, it impedes their ability to perform their roles effectively and undermines the credibility and perceived value of data governance initiatives. To establish a compelling case for data governance, organizations must prioritize data accessibility by refining policies, promoting data democratization, and ensuring that data is readily available for those who need it. This approach enhances data utilization and cultivates a culture where data governance is seen as an essential enabler of data-driven success.

Provide the Best Data Governance Technologies

Equipping teams with cutting-edge tools and technologies empowers them to effectively manage, protect, and extract insights from data. From automated data access control platforms to advanced business intelligence and analytics tools, by staying at the forefront of technology, organizations can streamline data governance processes, enhance data quality, and bolster data security.  

Offer Training and Education

A well-informed workforce is essential for a successful data governance-centric culture. Provide comprehensive training and educational resources to help employees understand the importance of data governance and how it applies to their roles. Offer ongoing training to keep everyone updated on new policies, procedures, and emerging data-related threats.  

Training initiatives can include:

  • Workshops and seminars on data governance best practices
  • Data privacy and security awareness programs
  • Certification programs for data professional
  • Accessible online resources and documentation

Assure Data Quality

Data governance goes beyond policy implementation; it involves continuous monitoring and data quality assurance. According to Gartner, poor data quality costs organizations an average of $12.9 million. However, when employees actively preserve data integrity, their collective efforts contribute to improved data quality. This, in turn, strengthens trust in the data, as stakeholders can depend on established processes and systems to deliver reliable and consistent information. Organizations should establish data quality assurance processes that encompass regular audits, data profiling, and validation checks to achieve this. Additionally, it is essential to encourage employees to report any data quality issues and establish accessible channels to do so seamlessly.

Communicate and Collaborate

Effective communication and collaboration are critical for fostering a data governance-centric culture. Encourage cross-functional teams to work together on data-related initiatives and problem-solving. Use collaboration tools and platforms to facilitate communication and information sharing.

Regularly scheduled meetings and reports can help:

  • Share data governance updates and progress
  • Discuss data-related challenges and solutions
  • Celebrate successes and recognize contributions

Measure and Monitor

To ensure the effectiveness of your data governance efforts, establish key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics to measure progress. Regularly monitor these metrics and use them to identify areas for improvement. Some essential data governance metrics include data accuracy rates, data quality scores, compliance levels, and the number of data-related incidents.  

Continuously Adapt and Improve

The data landscape is continually evolving. A data governance-centric culture must be adaptable and open to change. Encourage employees to suggest improvements to data governance policies and procedures. Foster a culture of continuous learning and improvement.

Reward and Recognize

Recognize and reward employees who demonstrate a commitment to data governance. Acknowledge their contributions and the positive impact of their efforts on the organization. Rewards can include promotions, bonuses, or other forms of recognition that align with your company's culture and values.

Wrapping Up

In today's data-driven business environment, a data governance-centric company culture is not just a nice-to-have; it's a necessity. Companies prioritizing data governance are better equipped to make informed decisions, protect sensitive information, and gain a competitive edge. Remember that creating and maintaining such a culture is an ongoing process, and adaptability and continuous improvement are vital to staying at the forefront of data management excellence.

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