Webinar Recap: How to Start Data Governance the Right Way
Far too often, organizations invest in data governance initiatives only to have them fail or simply stall before yielding any benefits. To help IT leaders prevent this from happening, ProArch hosted a 30-minute webinar, “How to Start Data Governance the Right Way.” Ben Wilcox, ProArch’s chief technology officer of cloud and security, and Greg Dodge, ProArch’s cloud computing and IT infrastructure solution architect shared their insights on how to set a solid foundation for a data governance program.
Keep reading for some of the key takeaways from the webinar, or click here to watch the webinar and access the accompanying slide deck.
What Data Governance Is and Is Not
You can’t start a data governance initiative without understanding what data governance is (and what it isn’t!). Data governance is a collection of processes, policies, roles, metrics, and standards. Data governance is not something that makes you instantly compliant and secure or a tool you can set and forget.
Keep in mind that data governance “is about owning your data instead of letting your data own you,” Dodge said. “It’s something you have to do early and often. . . . You and only you are the best custodian of your data.”
Microsoft offers indispensable tools for data governance, but to make these tools effective long term, you and your team must own the process.
How to Take the First Steps
Data governance initiatives can seem overwhelming at the beginning, especially when you haven’t attempted a formal data governance initiative before. To increase your chances for success, start with a limited scope. Then, follow these steps:
First, get executive buy-in. Communicate the why and make a business case.
Second, build your team, including an executive sponsor, a compliance leader, data owners, business unit owners, and IT leadership.
Third, research the toolsets.
“Each tool will have various capabilities that may be required to meet those context requirements,” Wilcox said. “Where you store your data, your data types, [and] how your data may impact those areas will determine what the right tool is for the purpose. We recommend doing lots of research on the tools. Evaluate more than one vendor or find a trusted partner like ProArch who can help you shortcut those vendor selection stages.”
Finally, use a data scanner to understand what you have, where it resides, and what you may be missing.
How to Keep the Data Governance Fire Burning
“This is a journey not for the faint of heart and not for every organization,” Wilcox said. “But with the proper communication, the proper expectation-setting, we find that most people are willing to do their part and feel like they’re improving the security of the company and its data.”
Here are four tips to help keep your momentum going once you get started on the right track:
- Remember: It’s a journey, not a destination.
- Integrate the program with your company culture.
- Take a phased approach—crawl, then walk, then run.
- Plan for the investment. A six-figure investment is often needed, and an implementation partner can help you figure out how to allocate your budget the most effectively.
Watch the webinar to learn how to get started with your data governance initiative and the key best practices for making it last.