Solid Data Governance Can Make a Difference to your Business’ Success


Effective data governance is essential for businesses, offering numerous advantages and as well as safeguarding against potential risks. Here’s why your business needs to prioritise Data Governance - what the risks are if you don’t - and how to go about formulating a solid Data Governance strategy.

The Benefits of Good Data Governance and the Risks Associated with its Absence

  • Good Data Governance improves decision-making efficiency by streamlining data workflows, minimising duplication, and providing timely, relevant information to decision-makers, thereby enhancing operational efficiency, and driving business growth. Whereas inefficient data management processes hinder productivity and competitiveness by creating difficulties in accessing, analysing, and utilising data. Moreover, poor governance increases the risk of inaccurate and inconsistent data, leading to flawed decision-making and compromised operations.
  • Thorough Data Governance aids compliance and risk management by defining data ownership, access protocols, and security measures. Poor governance raises the likelihood of data breaches, unauthorised access, and compliance violations. This can result in significant financial losses, legal repercussions, and damage to reputation, jeopardising the business’ success and sustainability in an increasingly data-driven business environment.
  • Governance maximises the value of data assets, mitigates risks, and fosters compliance, crucial for small businesses to thrive in today’s data-driven landscape.

Understanding Data Governance

Data governance is essential for handling a business’s data assets. The main aim is to make sure that as well as complying with current laws/regulations your data delivers value across the whole company and helps deliver prioritised objectives.

But data governance can't just happen by itself. It needs to solve real business problems and get results. So, start by figuring out what the business wants to achieve, who's involved, and what data is needed to make it happen. Technology and how data is organised are big parts of making data governance work.

Think of data governance like a puzzle with four pieces: people, policies, processes, and technology.

  • People means the roles and jobs in the company related to data.
  • Policies are rules for using and protecting data.
  • Processes are the steps for handling data, like how it's collected and kept safe.
  • Technology is the tools and systems used to manage data.

To make it work, everyone needs to follow the same rules and ways of working. Even though starting a data governance plan might seem tough, if you start small and focus on what the business needs, it can become a natural part of how things are done.

Constructing a Data Governance Programme Involves Gradual Improvements Over Time

Here's how to start:

  1. Decide what the business wants to do with its data: Clear goals are important before starting a data plan. What are the company’s objectives and preferred results for your business? Knowing what the company wants to do with its data, both big and small, is crucial. A data plan helps match business goals with the data needed, who needs it, and how to manage it (and remember that goals can be influenced by external factors such as compliance and regulations).
  2. Get support from stakeholders in the company: Having support from key stakeholders in the organisation is important for a data plan to work well. They're the ones who understand why data is important and are ready to invest in it. They help get the right team together, explain why data is important to everyone, and figure out how to pay for it.
  3. Build, check, and improve the data governance plan: Once the goals and supporters are clear, it's essential to see how things are going right now. This means looking at how data is managed currently, what's good, what's not, and what needs to change. Then, focus on fixing the most important things first to make data work better for everyone.
  4. Write down the rules for handling data in the company: Clear rules are needed for how data is handled. These rules make sure everyone knows what to do with data and keeps it safe. By following these rules, data quality remains excellent, good decisions are made, and people trust the company with their information.
  5. Make sure everyone knows their job when managing data: Everyone involved in handling data should know what their job is. Whether it's collecting data, storing it, or using it, everyone needs to understand their responsibilities. This helps things run smoothly and ensures everyone is on the same page.
  6. Set up the steps for how data will be managed: Clear steps are needed for handling data. These steps make sure everyone knows what to do and when. By setting these steps up early, problems are avoided later, and things keep running smoothly.
  7. Put the plan into action, check how well it's working, and change it as needed: Once the plan is in place, it's time to start using it. Keeping an eye on how well it's working and being ready to change things if they're not working right is important. By monitoring and making changes as needed, the plan keeps helping everyone do better with data.

Remember, a data governance plan only works if it helps the business. So, keep checking and changing it to make sure it stays relevant and compliant. By working together and following these steps, a company can build a data governance plan that fits its needs and helps it grow.

In conclusion, implementing effective data governance is not just a proactive measure; it's a strategic imperative for businesses of all sizes. By embracing good data governance practices, organisations can harness the full potential of their data assets, mitigate risks, ensure compliance, and drive sustainable growth in today's data-driven landscape. As businesses continue to navigate evolving regulatory landscapes and increasing demands for data transparency and security, investing in robust data governance frameworks will be essential for maintaining a competitive edge and fostering long-term success.

The PC Support Group has extensive experience in providing IT support to small and medium-sized businesses. Schedule a free consultation, mail,  or call 03300 886 116 to see how we can help you.