Data governance and compliance: it’s safe to say the two go hand in hand. Without proper data governance, how can you be confident your organization is adhering to regulations? On the other hand, when organizations are compliant, you can bet there is an effective data governance strategy in place. If you’re asking yourself, “how can I get started,” we are here to help! First let’s take a look at the terms data governance and compliance, and see how they are related.
Ensuring your data is fit for purpose starts by building a data governance program. By aligning your organization’s people, processes, and technology around a central data strategy, you can begin to leverage your data to benefit larger business goals. In terms of compliance, this means having clear control processes over your data to align with pre-set business rules. This is especially important in highly regulated industries such as finance and insurance. Data governance means making sure you have processes in place to control your data and assure that all regulations are met in all your organization’s data practices. Effective compliance can only come with a holistic and complete approach to your data governance strategy. How can you expect to be 100% certain you are adhering to regulations without complete control over your data and how it is collected and stored.
The three critical aspects of building an effective data governance strategy are the people, processes, and technology. With an effective strategy, not only can you ensure that your organization remains compliant, but you can also add value to your overall business strategy.
Data is at the heart of every organization. You need the right people to manage your data so it can effectively support your organization’s goals. A data team is responsible for owning and defining data assets to meet the needs of your organization. Ideally, the data team comprises individuals from across your organization to closely align your data governance strategy with the most impactful business needs. This is especially important if you are an organization that needs to be compliant with government or financial regulations. Your data governance team should consistently monitor your data to ensure it stays in line with regulations. A data team can also empower your organization to make better data-driven business decisions. By aligning your data governance strategy around business users (and not strictly IT), it opens the connection between data and the overall strategy of the organization.
There needs to be clear definitions in place as to how data is to be stored, leveraged, and interacted with within an organization. Why? Because without this level of control, you will not be able to understand your data or monitor and resolve issues effectively. Without defined data processes, when it comes to compliance, your organization could be in the dark. This is why an effective data governance strategy is so important, especially in regard to regulation. By implementing powerful control, auditing, and monitoring processes within your organization, you can be certain that you are adhering to regulations. The greater business value that is derived from this is the saved time and money that comes with less manual rework and eliminated fines due to noncompliance. Clear data processes are essential when it comes to leveraging an effective data governance program within your organization.
Along with identifying the correct people and processes for your organization’s data governance program, it is necessary to select the right technology to help execute and maintain this strategy. The right software that will help your organization to enforce business rules through monitoring, reporting, and overall data quality. A data governance tool allows the data team to collaborate and gain insight, while applying processes across the business. It can help your organization define the data itself, consistently apply those definitions across systems and databases, as well as establish who owns the data and whether it can be trusted.
Once you have developed these three areas of data governance, your organization can be proactive in managing its efforts to remain compliant. The connection between data governance and compliance is clear. Your organization needs the ability to effectively manage data throughout its lifecycle, in order to maintain compliance, and this can be achieved through an effective data governance strategy. Once your organization has put in place all of the right people, processes, and technology, you can focus on overall business strategies. This means that with data governance, you can ease compliance efforts and free up valuable time, money, and other resources to be leveraged in more meaningful or impactful ways for your organization.
Regulatory requirements are constantly evolving. Particularly for financial institutions, you need to be proactive in your data management efforts to keep up.