Tips for Building a Successful Data Governance Model

Data governance ensures that data is secured, trustworthy, documented, managed, and audited, ensuring that it’s accessible and usable. Effective data governance results in improved data analytics, better decision-making, and operations support. It also eliminates data errors or inconsistencies that cause integrity issues, organizational problems, and poor decision-making.

Data governance plays a crucial part in regulatory compliance, ensuring that your organization complies with all regulatory requirements. Data governance improves data quality, reduces data management costs, and increases data access for each stakeholder, reducing risks and operational costs. This article outlines eight tips for building a successful data governance model.

Identify Your Business’s Data Assets

For data to function well in your business, it’s crucial to learn how to select, gather, keep and use it efficiently, as the data is already in abundance, and you can lose it quickly. Take inventory of the information in your organization together with its sources, including websites, CMS, apps, marketing campaigns, social media, and others. Identify the pain points value loss because of poor data management and consider data volume, variety, value, and velocity.

Besides data diagnosis, every department needs to be involved in data usage. Encourage your employees to learn things like what is data governance? How it can benefit your business, and what they can do to participate. They should also understand the merits and concerns of shared, quality data. Getting your employees involved keeps them interested and helps you launch your data governance project with proactive and receptive staff.

Pick a Data Governance Operating Model

When starting a data governance project, avoid trying to handle all the organizational, regulatory, and technical issues at once. Overloading your employees’ to-do lists with many data governance-related activities can jeopardize your success chances. Develop a clear roadmap, approved by the stakeholders, with short-term milestones to assess efforts and progress. Considering the various data governance models, pick one that suits your needs, environment, financial and human resources, and data maturity level.

Start Small

Data governance is vast, and implementing it can be challenging. It comes with a lot of learning. Consider starting small with your data governance implementation and make it a learning process. Rather than implementing data governance throughout the entire organization, determine core departments and target your initial implementations there.

Its success will earn you monetary and political capital to boost your next phase. Identify what worked well and what didn’t to smooth out issues as your implementation expands. Spot persons who have been excellent in the data governance exercise and request them to train staff in other departments.

Pick Stakeholders and Determine All Data Actors

Unlike in the past, when data governance responsibility fell on IT teams, today’s organizations are data-driven. The governance must be supported and implemented throughout all business units because they have a part to play in data oversight. Start by appointing or hiring a chief data officer to take charge of data governance across the company. Their responsibility is to ensure that projects are prioritized and approved, procure workers for the project, and manage budgets while ensuring complete documentation.

Assemble a multidisciplinary group, including data owners to supervise particular business departments or areas and data stewards to coordinate and administer your data lake, a centralized repository for storing and analyzing all unstructured and structured data at whatever scale. A data custodian ensures the preservation, storage, transport, and control of data in the business. Besides their key roles, these profiles can also be data analysts, product managers or owners, marketing managers, community or content managers, user experience designers, and traffic managers.

Document the Project and Write Shared Sources

To successfully implement your data governance project, develop standard processes and adopt a standard language within your business. To effectively do this, provide a data map which is a detailed topography of the data gathered and utilized by your organization in the different information systems for your team. This enables the identification of data assets, their storage, flows, and processing methods, making the data wholly understandable and accessible to all staff members to help everyone determine the source of each piece of data, learn how it’s calculated, and identify any replication. Data mapping includes a business glossary, the data model, and a flow diagram. Data mapping also consists of a part of the format where various data types are available and their access and consumption conditions.

Ensure Data Quality

In data-driven organizations, data directs a majority of the decisions, including the timing and nature of communication campaigns or promotional operations, audience segmentation, and more. To perform these tasks, you should trust your data quality. Relying on poor quality data may result in business opportunities and revenue loss, reduce your actions’ ROI and decision quality, data project contamination, and loss of customer credibility and internal confidence.

Various risk factors including unmeasured traffic, overestimated traffic, blocked traffic, overestimated conversions, and excluded traffic, although the lack of user content can alter data. Being vigilant at each data life cycle stage can help you avoid these risks.

Ensure Regulatory Data Compliance

Users’ data protection is a critical regulatory requirement. In case of non-compliance, you can face sanctions like heavy administrative fines and severe data capital restrictions. It can also destroy your brand image and impact customer trust. It’s vital to take steps on your mobile apps and site to get your audience’s permission in an informed manner. Consider picking a supplier with stringent data management and respect for legal regulations.

Democratize Data Usage Internally

Data democratization within your organization is crucial to data governance. It makes data accessible to more people by embracing a data culture. To ensure a supportive structure for the data culture, inform each business team of all the data your company manages, specify the data’s use cases, indicate where it’s stored and how to access it, give the data reliability and quality details, and designate data referents to support users daily.

Set up specific support programs, including internal workshops and training sessions to help users with the data and tools operational use for particular problems. Your data team can create dashboards to manage each activity to inspire your staff to utilize the data.


Effective data governance makes your data consistent, improves its quality, enhances data-driven decision making, improves business planning and financial performance, and maximizes company profits. Use these tips to build a successful data governance model.

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