Data Governance refers to the principal strategy that an organisation employs to cover the availability, integrity and security of their business data. It is one of the biggest challenges that companies face and failing to get it right can not only result in financial implications, but reputational damage too. In this blog, we will cover the biggest challenges in Data Governance for 2018 and what businesses might do to overcome them.
Data Volumes Are Growing
On one hand, the fact that businesses are developing more and more data is a great thing; it shows that they are expanding and becoming more complex. However, it also means that data governance becomes more complex, as you must consider each individual piece of data, its sensitivity and storage and distribution needs. In order for your data governance strategy to be effective, you must maintain an inventory of all your data, which is naturally more challenging the more data you have.
Encouraging Employee Compliance
Unfortunately, one of the biggest challenges in data governance is ensuring that your employees comply with your overall data strategy, something often borne out by a lack of understanding rather than a lack of desire. To combat this you can present your data governance strategy in a centralised and easy-to-access location and you might also invite your employees to give their own opinions and suggestions to improve your strategy and to make it more accessible. Employees are more likely to comply with procedures they have helped to create, as it will not feel like such a restriction.
One of the most important aspects of data governance is assigning accountability. Under the GDPR, it will be compulsory for certain businesses to appoint a Data Protection Officer, who will be accountable for data governance as a whole. However, even if your business is not legally required to do so, it may be prudent to establish a data governance council (with representatives from each department) to define data procedures and policies. This will help to individualise accountability, as procedure and policy can be implemented on a smaller scale, to ensure the business’ overarching data governance strategy is effective.
Dealing with Redundant Data
It is only natural that a business will accumulate data that they no longer need. However, it is important that you have a policy for dealing with this redundant data, as storing it unnecessarily will just make the management of your most valuable data even more more of a challenge. Identifying redundant data is only one step, perhaps the most important step is to ensure that your data governance strategy is followed, and that the data is disposed of securely. For more information on this, please refer to our previous article on 10 Tips for End of Life Data Security.
Though the challenges associated with data governance may be difficult to overcome, it is important that you see the potential for overall improved business security. The hard work you put into overcoming data security challenges will be rewarded through the heightened security you offer not only to your customers, but also to your business data in general.