The Broadening Dimensions Of Data Governance

If to govern something means to bring order to it, then data governance involves the ordering and management of data. In its early stages, data governance was viewed as an inconvenient,regulatory mandate devised to ensure that private information didn’t fall into the wrong hands. Today, the scope of data governance not only protects data, it also manages business intelligence, content, and security, and is instrumental in analytics, modeling, and quality control.

With business intelligence and analytics revenues predicted to skyrocket in the near future, employers are going to be in need of well-trained, experienced workers in any and all fields associated with Big Data. Students pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Cyber Security will find themselves in high demand the moment they graduate.

Why Data Needs Governance

The term “data governance” covers a lot of ground. Depending on the context, the speaker could be talking about governing the privacy and security of stored data, as is now required by new and expanding regulations. He/she might also be talking about the governing of data warehousing and business intelligence (BI) management.

“Data governance as a discipline is not going away, and as organizations further strive to leverage data as a business asset, there will be continuing and increasing pressures to protect and govern this asset,” explain BI authorities Hugh J. Watson and Matt McGivern in their 2016 paper, “Getting Started With Business-Driven Data Governance” in the Business Intelligence Journal.

“This adoption of governance will push IT, BI, and business alignment closer. Imagine competing in today’s business environment without data and clearly the value of governance becomes apparent.”

Decision rights, or the clarification of authority and accountability in the decision-making process, lie at the foundation of data governance. Properly executed governance places the specific decisions in the hands of the people most aptly suited to make that decision.

“As organizational decisions increasingly become more data driven, top managers need to assure decision rights are data driven as well,” writes MIT researcher Michael Schrage in his 2016 article, “How The Big Data Explosion Has Changed Decision Making,” in Harvard Business Review.

“That explains why so many organizations have made data governance a strategic and organizational priority. Instead of more traditional IT governance, which seeks to create greater accountability for IT systems management, data governance recognizes that data is the mission-critical asset to manage.”

Schrage theorizes that the innovative application of data-driven decision rights will affect how data gets shared (called inclusiveness) and how organizations take advantage of that data( called agility). The future of data governance and the future of decision rights will progress hand in hand.

What Data Governance Governs

The Big Data phenomenon has evolved to the point where it is no longer a gimmick or a passing novelty. Data is now a fundamental aspect of doing business in the modern world, and professionals in every field are going to be dealing with data governance in one way or another.

Data governance is branching out into non-data departments and fields in multiple ways. CIO Network, in its 2016 post, “The Case For ‘Data Governance,’” on, presents multiple organizational sectors where data is becoming entrenched:

  • Data is a shared asset – Data governance establishes clearly defined boundaries between ownership of data and responsibilities. When data is shared, it is shared via a controlled, standardized process that protects the data.
  • Data is consumed by many – Data lineage, or chronicling how data flows through an organization’s various departments, can illustrate for executives and decision-makers just how ingrained data is in society.
  • Data ownership is a responsibility – Decision points in data governance include opportunities for data to be validated, authorized, and approved, and for data ownership to be transferred.
  • Data is not just for specialists – A common language regarding data governance, which could be established through a company-wide data education program, can help to streamline business processes between different departments.
  • Data requires partnership – The formation of a “data culture,” where data lies at the heart of nearly all business decisions, requires a partnership between the business and technical side of the house.

In 2017, the presence of data governance is firmly embedded in data privacy. For a while, many believed that privacy risk and regulatory compliance was the only field in need of data governance.

“[However], instead of heavy-handed restrictions on data usage and documentation, big data governance is agile, collaborative, and efficient,” says data and analytics expert Dr. Paul Barth in his 2017 post, “The New Paradigm For Big Data Governance,” on .“It engages, not separates, analysts in capturing their learnings to accelerate production readiness.”

Other business areas covered by data governance include everything from warehouse and inventory control to sales, shipping, accounting, human resources, and cyber security. Well-defined and organized data improve the efficiency and effectiveness of every business-related task.

The more agile data governance becomes, the easier it will be for businesses to find the best fit for governance in each department, according to data governance expert Jeff Shortis in his blog post, “Data Governance Trends And Predictions For 2017.”

“The need for data governance will grow based on both internal and external influences,” claims Shortis, “Organizations will move further out of the conceptual state and start to show meaningful metrics for what well-managed and transparent data can offer.”

Maryville University – Online Degree in Cyber Security

Maryville University’s online cyber security degree offers advanced training in cyber security, network and wireless security, data governance, and analytics. All skills are learned and practiced in Maryville University’s virtual training lab.

Upon graduation, students may qualify for high-paying positions such as networking consultant, information security manager, security analyst, or network architect in some of the world’s largest tech companies. Or, students may wish to continue their education by pursuing a graduate degree. Contact Maryville University for more information.


Getting Started With Business-Driven Data Governance

How The Big Data Explosion Has Changed Decision Making

The Case For ‘Data Governance’

The New Paradigm For Big Data Governance

Data Governance Trends And Predictions For 2017

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