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Data governance: A Pillar for using your Data

Data governance: A Pillar for using your Data

Data is now a key asset to reach a new level of competitiveness. In the Big Data era, it is one of the pillars to improve sales and marketing processes and overall performance, not to mention, a legitimate decision making tool. Quality, security, management, supervisory bodies, etc.. The use of data creates new organisational needs, and thereby makes data governance a key issue for your company.

Data governance, what is it ? ​

Definition of Data governance

The term Data governance refers to all organisations, procedures and tools implemented within a company to govern the processing and management of data. From the collection of data to its use, including preparation, data governance aims to set up processes to manage data sustainably throughout its life cycle, with the aim of extracting strategic lessons.

Data governance should be distinguished from simple data management. Beyond the daily management of this key resource for your company, Data governance aims to produce a framework to use and maximise the data’s value. To achieve this, it acts on 4 major pillars :


  • Structuring of roles and formalisation of associated responsibilities (Data Owner, Data Steward, Data Custodian, etc.) ;
  • Organisation within the company (Who is responsible? What are the contact points?) ;
  • Teaching and understanding of issues involved with the valuation of data ;
  • Sharing of knowledge and democratising the use of data.


  • Formalisation of the Data governance operating model (Who is part of the body? When and how often does it meet? What are its responsibilities and its level of autonomy?) ;
  • Standardisation of practices and the implementation of data management rules and procedures.

Tech and tools

  • Implementation of tools for processing, sharing, monitoring quality, etc.. ;
  • Control and securing access to data for the whole organisation – data architecture and integration ;
  • Development of technical platforms guaranteeing confidentiality, compliance and security.

Support and follow-up

  • Formalisation of centralised knowledge shared across the company (glossary) ;
  • Technical support for Data users and consumers ;
  • Definition of key indicators and performance measurements.
Generally managed by one person in a cross-functional position – Chief Data (or Digital) Officer – data governance concerns all departments (marketing, sales, legal, IT…). Whether data consumers (market understanding, performance measurements, decision making, etc.) or data creators, your employee’s involvement is crucial to achieve reliable governance and create value.

Data governance challenges ​

Data governance allows you to define the main principles which must govern the management of your data, but also ensure that they are applied. It is a strict framework that operates at different levels.

Overall company: performance

First of all, data is an aid to anticipate and make strategic decisions. As such, it is a real guide for your company’s decision makers and a strategic tool which has a direct impact on business performances.


Data Quality

Remember, non-qualitative data presents a real risk for your company: flawed analyses, making irrelevant decisions, lack of responsiveness to your competitors actions, etc…To counter this bias and meet the needs of your internal or external customers, a systematic and automated Data Quality process must be implemented.


Risk management

Data has become a sensitive resource which must be secured in IT infrastructures. Appropriate rules and processes must be formalised.


Build a reference

Master Data Management aims to classify and store reference data in a data warehouse, essential for the company’s activity (customer information, products, resources, etc.). Once built, this reference is critical, particularly for matching your data.


Legal compliance

Subject to an increasingly strict regulatory framework for data, the establishment of rules and procedures is now inevitable. Collecting, processing, storing, sharing, and securing are just a few steps in the process. Each step of the Data journey must be managed by processes in compliance with current standards, and in particular, GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) for personal data.


Optimisation of IT infrastructures

The centralisation of data within the organisation is one of the fundamental issues of Data governance. Today, information systems aim to provide better access for businesses through a global and secured infrastructure and in compliance with regulations.

Data governance impacts your company at different levels – strategic, operational and tactical – which makes it as complex as it is fundamental. Do you need assistance for the consideration and implementation of your governance ?

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