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Data Governance for Better Organizational Information Sharing

Data is widely considered to be the currency of the modern business world. Except for its people, an enterprise’s data resources are its most valuable asset. Companies use the information they collect and store to make decisions regarding trends that impact the choices their customers make. A business can gain a competitive advantage over its market rivals by performing analytics on big data stores. 

Designing new products and services or modifying existing offerings to address demand are tactics that are essential to remaining relevant in the marketplace. Using information efficiently is critically important to these data-driven activities. This can prove to be easier said than done in large organizations.

A one-person company, though perhaps rare, has the advantage of having all of its information resources available to the whole organization at all times. There is no risk of misinterpreted communication that can negatively impact a project. As the sole employee, you can interpret things however you like. You can call an item a widget today and rename it to a gadget tomorrow and it will not hurt a thing.

As soon as more than one individual needs to make use of information resources, the concept of sharing becomes involved. When multiple people are trying to work together, they need to know that they are using the same language and talking about the same thing. If one department calls it a widget and another a gadget, there are very real prospects of miscommunication when referring to the item with a third department.

The same kind of issue impacts the databases and information systems in an organization’s IT environment. Using different terms to describe the same thing is not a good way to get the most out of your computing resources. Searching for gadgets in the sales department database where they are classified as widgets will lead to a frustrating and unproductive session.

The Benefits of Data Governance

The Data Governance Institute defines the term as “a system of decision rights and accountabilities for information-related processes, executed according to agreed-upon models which describe who can take what actions with what information, and when, under what circumstances, using what methods.” It is a technique through which organizations can gain several advantages regarding their data resources.

Here are some of the benefits that data governance can bring to enterprise data management. They contribute to the ability of entities within the organization to share information effectively.

  • The creation of common names and data definitions makes it possible for diverse parts of the organization to communicate efficiently.

  • Well-defined data results in more consistent and informative reporting across the enterprise.

  • Redundant data can be more easily discovered and addressed when using consistent names and definitions.

  • Increase the trust in the quality and reliability used to make decisions throughout a business. Data resources subject to governance should be more accurate and require less correction.

The overriding objective of data governance is to ensure that information is used to further business goals. By instituting structure and controls over how enterprise data is managed, you can extract the maximum amount of value from this important resource.

Tools for Implementing Data Governance

Putting a data governance policy in place demands a collaborative effort that includes stakeholders from all parts of the enterprise. A successful initiative demands the elimination of current data silos that may have conflicting definitions or terminology that impede organizational data sharing. Using the right tools is an important component of implementing data governance in your organization.

IDERA’s ER/Studio Enterprise Team Edition is a tool that fosters collaboration and provides your organization with the functionality it needs to build the foundation of a strong data governance program. The application lets you build out an enterprise data model and fully document the definitions and attributes of business concepts and processes. ER/Studio can be used to discover and document the existing enterprise data resources. Impact analysis features let you study the effects of new policies or changes to data models before they are implemented.

A viable data governance program demands the strong foundation that ER/Studio allows your team to construct. Data governance will eliminate those uncomfortable conversations where widgets and gadgets get confused and productivity or customer satisfaction suffers. Your organization will be better off and more equipped to compete when its data is governed.

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