Data governance is all about managing the flow of information and maintaining control over it. In a data-driven world, good governance is essential for keeping your data clean, consistent and reliable. Data governance requires a solid team of individuals to set policies, implement them, and monitor ongoing operations and KPIs. For most organizations, this requires a few key roles:
The Chief Data Officer (CDO) of an organization is an executive tasked with overseeing the entire data management and data governance systems to ensure that data is being securely used in a way that most efficiently meets the overall business objectives.
The CDO will often be the person allocating budgets, structuring the teams, setting broad goals and objectives, and monitoring progress and key performance indicators.
The data governance steering committee is a group of individuals — often composed of leadership — who decide on the strategies, protocols, and standards that define how data governance is actually implemented across an organization.
For instance, the steering committee will often determine standardized protocols for how data should be formatted and stored to ensure consistency across departments and minimize data silos. That way, even if analysts or other employees work in very different departments with little communication, they’ll easily understand how to interoperate across domains and datasets.
A data owner is an individual responsible for managing the governance of specific datasets or domains within an organization. They will take policies set by the CDO or data governance steering committee and ensure that they are properly implemented in the systems that they manage.
A data owner could also be a party within the data governance steering committee, either as a voting or non-voting member. This allows the committee to get diverse representation across the organization to ensure that the standards they set fit the wide range of needs across the organization.
A data steward is an individual responsible for actually implementing the data governance policies. They manage the day-to-day operations including maintaining data quality and accuracy, implementing changes to standards and protocols, removing redundancies and breaking data silos, and enforcing security requirements and access control policies.
While the data steward may not be a voting member of the data governance steering committee, it’s important that their voice is heard in the decision making process as they are the ones that are actually doing the ongoing work of implementing the policies so they’ll best understand the direct implications of them.
Data governance is essential to ensure that businesses can leverage their data to make smarter business decisions in the most efficient manner without sacrificing security. However, doing so requires implementing complex data management systems to allow data stewards to define standard protocols, build cleansing and harmonization pipelines, enforce strict access control, and much more.
ThoughtSpot’s powerful Modern Analytics Cloud platform was built with data governance in mind. Our user roles and management systems make it easy to govern who has what level of access to your data, and our new verified liveboards feature helps users have confidence in their data.
Data can be quickly integrated, transformed, and analyzed from all of your disparate data sources into an easy-to-use and secure centralized repository in the cloud. Try a free trial of ThoughtSpot to see how easily you can implement a data governance program for your business.