What is Data Governance?

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Since Data Governance was introduced as a term, a variety of definitions has emerged which has caused contradictory interpretations and understanding of its meaning. Some people use Data Governance as a synonym for Data Quality, others believe it is something complementary. A third group considers Data Governance to be similar to Data Management...

Inspired by recent discussions, I like to offer the definition I refer to during my projects:
Data Governance is an organization's practice, based on documented policies and standards, to accomplish and maintain
  • Data Regulation Compliance
  • Data Strategy Compliance
  • Data Security
  • Data Quality
while applying the principles of Economy.
Data Regulation Compliance is the goal to comply with international and national laws and standards as well as with industry-specific regulatory requirements related to an organization's data.

Data Strategy Compliance is the goal to comply with (additional) data-related strategic and tactical directives which have been defined and issued by the organization's executive level and/or a line of business' management.

Data Security is the targeted degree of protecting the organization's data from corruption, theft, loss and unauthorized access.

Data Quality is the targeted degree of availability, provenance traceability, completeness, conformity, validity, correctness, consistency and timeliness of data that make it suitable for the organization's purpose of use.

Applying the principles of Economy means to accomplish and maintain the aforementioned targets with the highest possible return-on-investment (ROI), respectively, with the lowest cost (particularly considering the cost of inaction (COI)).
 
Please be invited to weigh in.

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