People and organizations are using an ever increasing number of devices and applications, resulting in the generation of large data volumes. According to one estimation, 2025 will see the creation of 175 trillion gigabytes (175 zettabytes) of data! These vast amounts of unstructured data or data overload, whether it’s stored on-premises, on the cloud, or on hybrid options, should be governed by data security and protection regulations. In this context, organizations are increasingly under intense public scrutiny, with customers expecting greater transparency about the way their personal data is handled and used. National legislators, in turn, are responding to mounting public pressure to safeguard data by introducing data protection regulations.
In other words, data governance is now an aspect that no organization can ignore. We’re cognizant of the fact that mismanagement of data (particularly sensitive customer information) that results in security breaches is a public relations nightmare for any organization with a negative effect on the bottom line. Against such a backdrop, data governance plus the people, processes and technology needed, are now becoming an integral part of corporate strategies. This is where a unified data governance solution can help. This blog outlines the benefits of data governance, and the challenges that organizations may encounter as they roll-out a data governance framework. It also addresses how unified data governance solutions enable you to gain the insights you need to effectively govern data.
Data governance: What it encompasses, challenges, and benefits
To start with the basics, what exactly is data governance?
Data governance refers to the collection, management, usability, applicability, accuracy, and security of data. These are processes that involve technology tools and a team that is knowledgeable about all aspects of data governance to ensure that an organization is gaining the most from the data it has.    Organizations that lack a data governance process will not have comprehensive insights into their business operations – affecting their ability to define their corporate strategy, quality of services, and business revenue. They will also be unable to comply with data protection regulations which can lead to a possible risk of reputational damage. Some organizations face challenges that make them hesitant to implement a data governance process. These could be the lack of adequate resources and knowledge on how to govern existing and new data. Perhaps the volume of data collected to date is so copious that classifying the data to understand any data gaps and redundancies is a daunting task. Or maybe you lack an understanding of data governance tools and how they can benefit your organization. However, these are all easily surmountable challenges when your work with the right technology partner.
When you do implement a data governance strategy, this will enable you to:
- Centralize your data catalog– Ensure that data is accessible to a broader audience. Empower employees to incorporate data in their day-to-day processes by offering them a comprehensive view of all your organization’s data assets, as well as visibility into the state of your data, and where it’s stored.
- Improve the data quality- Maintain a clearer understanding of data, ensuring the data is accurate, standardized, consistent, and timely, while avoiding introducing data errors into systems that meet all requirements, confirming the right processes are in place.
- Manage your systems and their costs better- Transform your data insights by understanding the systems in place, how it is been utilized and how they relate to other systems. As a result, lower your data management costs.
These benefits will become all the more important when we consider the future of data governance. Technology industry insiders and thought leaders have discussed how evolving technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) will play a role in data governance. Data protection regulations, too, will evolve with changing consumer and business needs. Organizations will even need to automate more and more data governance tasks. Well organized data estates will continue to play a decisive role in a world where business decisions will become increasingly data driven. To gain the most from data governance – now and into the future – organizations must consider a unified data governance solution.
How a unified data governance solution helps
A unified data governance solution such as Microsoft Purview will enable your organization to gain a comprehensive understanding of your data. It helps you search and find the data, manage data, and eliminate data silos. You can do these functions regardless of where your data is stored. Your data may be stored on-premises, on cloud, or on SaaS applications. Microsoft Purview provides this much needed flexibility.
Using these key capabilities, you will be able to:
- Create a data map for your data estate: Harness the search capabilities of Purview on data sources such as Amazon S3, Azure Synapse Analysis, Snowflake and DB2 to perform a range of functions such as data classification, data lineage, labeling, integration, and automation, to discover the data you require.
- Manage the lifecycle of your data: Maintain records of data, delete legacy or redundant data, retain only the necessary data, and automate data management policies.
- Protect your data: Data loss prevention features to prevent any unauthorized data sharing/transfers. Identify and protect sensitive data.
- Comply with regulatory frameworks: Access customizable regulatory templates, receive regulatory updates to plan your actions, and control mapping and compliance scores/compliance assessment to support your requirements.
- Minimize internal risks to data: Integrate data flows across teams/departments in your organization. Understand internal risks better through alerts and indicators. You can even protect data risks across communication channels and detect violations through ML powered technology.
Learn more about the benefits of using Microsoft Purview here.
And if you don’t have the in-house knowledge and expertise to gain the most from your unified data governance solution, selecting a technology partner is the next step. As a Microsoft Gold Data Analytics and Gold Data Platform partner, the certified professionals at Intellint can help you build your unified data governance solution. To help you get started, we’ll perform a thorough data estate health check, strategize your data governance framework, and implement the solution to achieve your business. Contact us today and tell us how you want to proceed with your data governance solution: Contact our team