8 Golden Rules For Creating An Effective Data Governance Program

The program for information management in an enterprise owes its efficiency to a robust data governance program. Hiring the best data management consulting companies will be useless if there is not a proper system for overseeing the whole initiative. Governance helps identify the most appropriate practices and processes which will be used in the management of information assets of an organization.

An efficient system of governance is vital for ensuring the consistency and high-quality of data elements for the whole duration of their life-cycle at an enterprise. The question that now arises how can a monitoring program be created for the data management initiative. There is no standard solution and each enterprise has to find its own answer to the question. There are some essential rules which must be followed while creating the governance strategy for an organization. Let’s take a look at them.

1. Create And Document A Policy For Data

Every organization must have a policy in place for governance. It is essential to lay down the rules and procedures according to which various elements can be accessed and used by the stakeholders. Documenting the policy and making it available to all staff members is also necessary.

It ensures that the entire organization is aware of the dos and don’ts associated with information management. Documentation is valuable in eliminating any confusion among data users when they work with the assets. The policy document must be updated to incorporate any changes related to redundant data elements or a new process replacing an earlier one.

2. Create A Mechanism For Resolving Issues

Creating a documented policy will help reduce doubts among data users but when various departments work with the same elements, there will be differences of opinion between them. The disagreement can be on the interpretation of an asset or the manner in which it should be processed. These incidents, if not handled properly have the potential to negatively affect the analysis which will then hamper accurate decision-making. All enterprises must have a framework for dispute resolution and the governance team must specify the final authority on such matters.

3. Control The Flow Of Data

One of the most important aspects of governance is to exercise control how data is communicated between various sections of an organization. While some assets can be accessed by all staff members, there may be some elements which require that they are provided only to specific users. The monitoring team is responsible for maintaining the sanctity of confidential and sensitive information. They have to ensure that only authorized entities access such data. Duplication of data is another concern which must be addressed by the governance initiative.

4. Ensure Adherence To Legal Regulations

Data governance program holds critical importance for an organization as not only it ensures efficient information management but also saves the company from legal trouble. Many jurisdictions around the world have enacted laws for the protection of personal information of individuals. The governance team must lay down the actual procedures that help regulate the exchange of information within the enterprise. This will protect data from hazards like security breaches which can harm the reputation of the organization besides causing financial losses and legal hassles.

5. Monitor The Usage Of Data At All Levels

The various sections of an enterprise work with different data elements to provide analyses that can be used for accurate decision-making. Errors can creep up in a process or in an element during the exchange or transformation. In order to spot an issue quickly, the governance team must put in place checks and balances at all levels for monitoring the whole initiative. They must be able to immediately spot an instance when a specified procedure has not been followed. This will ensure that the users will be alert while handling assets and minimize errors.

6. Control Access To Data

The security of information assets must be the top priority for the governance team. A data element is extracted from its native source and transformed for relaying it to different users. It is vital that a system is in place for users trying to access a required piece of information. There must be precise rules for accessing data and sharing it with other entities. These regulations are needed not only for the digital files but also hard copies that will be physically stored in the organization.

7. Assign Responsibilities To Appropriate Individuals

A business owner may invest in cutting-edge technological tools and hire the best data governance professionals but the initiative will generate fruitful results only if the roles and responsibilities are assigned to correct individuals. Staff members who understand the importance of data assets and have prior experience working with them must be chosen for the purpose. Selecting people who understand the business value of data will help in efficiently running the program. This will also be helpful in data management assessment which evaluates the efficacy of the information management system.

8. Identify The Decision-makers For The Enterprise

The objective behind investing in a mechanism for managing information assets is to improve the performance of the enterprise. The governance team in consultation with the executive leadership of the organization must identify the people who will make the decisions based on the analyses provided by the data management program. Designating a group helps in eliminating any confusion when it comes to using the input obtained from the evaluation of information assets.


These are the essential rules for creating a data governance program but each organization must decide on an approach after identifying the objectives and assessing its current state of information management.

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