Three “must-have” capabilities to unify data governance

Vice President and Principal Analyst, Aberdeen

This is the second in a three-part blog series exploring a modern and unified approach to data governance. Read part one here.

Today’s most successful companies think differently about the concept of data governance. Some might consider it to be a set of policies and procedures to lock down and protect their data, and some think of it more as a technology package to track and manage the flow of information. However, recent Aberdeen research suggests that top-performing companies are the ones that create a more holistic approach to data governance that incorporates the right technologies, processes, skill sets and internal capabilities.

In this more unified approach to data governance, leading companies tap into the skill sets and curiosity inherent to their user base, exploit the diversity in their infrastructure and lean on supporting technologies to help tie everything together. In particular, three capabilities stand out in common among these leaders:

  • User empowerment. In the midst of exploring data or creating their own analysis, users often need the ability to connect to new data sources and combine it with existing data.
  • Data sharing. With strong governance policies in place, users feel more secure and confident in their ability to socialize data across business functions and make it available for new and different analyses.
  • MDM technology support. Customer data is tied to product data, which correlates with asset data and location data. A backbone of MDM technology can help automate and accelerate these data connections.

Aberdeen’s research demonstrates that governance leaders are much more likely than all others to have these three capabilities in place, as seen below in Figure 1.

Figure 1: Organizational maturity drives success for governance leaders

Particularly in light of the complexity and diversity of data available at the typical company, the act of empowering users with the ability to connect to new data sources on their own, and then make that data available cross functionally, is a powerful way to support the analytical process. 

Additionally, leaders in data governance are much more likely to leverage a dedicated MDM platform to help support the connection and correlation of information from multiple data sources, as well as to maintain data quality and integrity. Beyond the core disparity in data types discussed above, leaders are also struggling to manage and connect different overarching data domains (such as customer data or product data), each of which has a unique set of requirements around accessibility and portability.

Leaders put all these pieces together in a unified approach to data governance that combines the best technologies, relevant and non-bureaucratic policies, and internal competencies to create results. 

Download the Aberdeen report, Data Governance 2.0: Uniting People and Information to Drive Real Business Results to learn more.