Data has long been identified as one of the most valuable assets an organization possesses. How essential, then, is it for enterprises to adopt a strategy and framework that will manage their data?

For some professional and industry leaders, it is more than just managing data. You need to take advantage of the potential your data possesses. Capitalize on your data by creating, understanding and controlling it better than your competition does their data.

Data governance is the overall management of the availability, usability, integrity and security of data used in an enterprise. Businesses benefit from data governance because it ensures data is consistent and trustworthy.

There are 27 billion active connected devices, with 127 new ones coming online every second. It isn’t hard to see that data storage is becoming a considerable challenge. It is growing four times faster than the world economy. To harness its power, companies need a next-generation data management platform.

Security is a driving factor as well. As data breaches and cyber attacks continue to proliferate, users and companies need new adaptive security models that use predictive analytics. Perimeter security measures often fail because of a lack of internal governance and prevention.

A well-designed data governance program typically includes a governance office, a governing body or council, a defined set of procedures and a plan to execute those procedures. It also involves representatives from an organization’s business operations, in addition to the IT and data management teams.

Without effective data governance, data inconsistencies in different systems across an organization might not get resolved. That could complicate data integration efforts and create data integrity issues that affect the accuracy of business intelligence, enterprise reporting and analytics applications.

At the end of the day the key goal of data governance is to break down data silos in an organization. Such silos commonly build up when individual business units deploy separate transaction processing systems without centralized coordination or an enterprise data architecture. Data governance aims to harmonize the data in those systems through a collaborative process, with stakeholders from the various business units participating.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Data Harmony, a unit of Access Innovations, the world leader in indexing and making content findable.