The Data Governance Balancing Act
Employees and stakeholders need key pieces of information to do their jobs. Self-service and data discovery tools can help, but if you let people access any data they want to, they’ll start poking around where they don’t belong. They also might bring in data of doubtful quality and unknown origin, making the results less reliable.
Implementing proper governance procedures can help. They involve the people, processes, and technology needed to ensure data is high-quality and properly secured.
Proper governance doesn’t mean a complete lockdown, though. Despite the way governance people commonly talk, it’s best to work with stakeholders to find the right balance. In a recent article, Forrester’s Boris Evelson said that governance should primarily involve monitoring data usage and adjusting policies if needed, because roadblocks will prompt users to find workarounds that circumvent governance guidelines.
Our approach takes this into account. For example, within our Omni-Gen platform, the Omni Governance Console gives business users the ability to manage policies and data rather than just having IT lock everything down. Giving businesspeople control means they’ll circumvent less.
So don’t over-govern, which may hinder adoption and acceptance. Use well-defined solutions to support the reporting and analytics needs of your company while providing the features to enforce governance rules. Using this simple strategy, organizations can benefit from a solid data governance plan and also share their data confidently with the employees who make a difference.
While I’ve been talking about data governance above, remember that data dissemination needs some governance, too. It’s best if the business intelligence (BI) and analytics solutions you deploy ensure that people get the information they need without opening up the information valve so wide that anything and everything can happen. If the solutions don’t work, we go back to the old days of “Excel hell” that have caused so many problems in the past. Our approach is to provide workgroup-oriented tools and pre-packaged analytical content called InfoApps. This innovative BI technology enables forward-thinking companies to reinvent traditional business models.
We discuss this and more in our webinar, “DataOps in the Real World: How innovators are reinventing business models with smarter data management”. You can register here.
In the interim, we have a wonderful visual representation of the benefits of data governance and data discovery, and tips for your organization. Take a look and let us know what you think.
 Stedman, Craig. “Data Governance Process Taxed by Self-Service BI, Big Data,” TechTarget, December 2015