By Clarity Insights,
Clarity Insights is a strategic partner to the nation's leading data-driven brands.

Data governance is a constant struggle for many companies, as business needs, security requirements and compliance demands all grow more complex year after year. It can be enough to overwhelm even the most seasoned IT department leaders. If data governance responsibilities are going unchecked, it may be time to consider a new approach to these efforts. A strategy driven by business requirements could be the best way forward to get these processes back on track.

The data governance struggle is real

Coping with issues concerning data management, monitoring access and ensuring compliance and security demands are being met is not uncommon. A 2015 survey conducted by Forrester Research discovered that 41 percent of businesses struggle to quickly locate data and get it into the right hands. Delays with data access can adversely affect analytics projects and prevent stakeholders from capitalizing on the latest updates and trends.


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"Data governance maturity isn't a sprint."

Conversely, businesses that excel at data governance enjoy high levels of data quality and consistency and tend to make more strategic decisions based on their advanced analytics campaigns. Moreover, those mature organizations also reported having a sharper competitive edge and were better positioned to facilitate topline business goals.

There is a clear incentive to get data governance right, and by taking a business-driven approach, organizations can quickly turn things around.

Defining business-based data governance

The idea behind a business-based data governance program is to start small and slowly incorporate it into the very fiber of the organization. As Informatica Vice President David Lyle noted, many data governance initiatives fail because they try to do too much too soon. Without a clear sense of purpose, defined roles and outlined objectives, governance projects can get very unwieldy.

Instead, Lyle recommended beginning with a single problem that needs to be addressed and building out from there. Over time, with each success, your data governance program can be expanded to take on more tasks and larger issues. Data governance maturity isn't a sprint - it's about maintaining long-term sustainability by building it up one solid piece at a time.


Where to begin laying the foundation

There are so many potential issues to address that it can be difficult—if not outright paralyzing— to choose a place to start. The best way forward is to identify a lingering problem that better data governance processes could improve on a tangible level. There must be a dollar value attached to this project so business line decision-makers and influencers can clearly see that pursuing data governance in a focused fashion can produce great results.

Getting feedback and incorporating business users into this process is also important. What seems like a major concern for IT may not resonate with other departments, and if they can't grasp the benefits of fully committing to data governance, these efforts will fail to gain traction.

Compliance concerns are usually fertile ground for laying your data governance foundation. These issues can be easily translated into monetary loss with the financial penalties and brand erosion associated with regulatory violations. It's an easy way to get organizational buy-in by tackling a pressing problem with costly ramifications.


Let Clarity help shoulder the load

Creating and expanding your data governance program will not be an overnight process. It can take years of building upon one success after another, tackling problems and demonstrating the initiative's business value. That doesn't mean the process has to be painstaking, however.

Clarity Insight's years of experience working with advanced analytics processes can help you at every step of your journey to data governance maturity. From choosing the right problems to showcasing persuasive success stories to executing on individual goals, Clarity has the expertise needed to tackle every step along the way.

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