Webinar Recap: Data Governance – The Undervalued Element of a Data Strategy
As the host and facilitator of the first session of the ‘Operationalising Data Governance’ webinar series, I found myself in the privileged position of leading an engaging discourse with our panellists, Ben Marden, Vice President – EMEA at Manta, and Peggy Tsai, CDO at BigID. Our dialogue was a deep dive into the pivotal role of data governance, the complex perspectives of various stakeholders, and the critical need for strategic alignment with business objectives. Here’s a quick summary of the key themes that were discussed during this webinar.
The significance of data governance
The webinar served as a stark reminder of the integral role that data governance plays in today’s rapidly digitalising economy. It is no longer a mere aspect of business operations but has become a cornerstone of strategic decision-making and value creation.
Ben Marden, leveraging his extensive experience spanning over 20 years in the field, emphasised the importance of understanding data end-to-end. His insights underscored the fact that this understanding is not just a luxury but a necessity for businesses to ensure more favourable outcomes. He emphasised on the significance of information management and governance he has observed in businesses throughout his career. His observations were a testament to the transformative power of effective data governance.
Moreover, data governance’s importance extends beyond the realm of mere compliance. Peggy Tsai brought this point to the fore, highlighting the additional business value data governance provides. She shared her experiences from the heavily regulated banking industry, where data governance has always been a cornerstone. However, with the advent of new privacy and GDPR regulations, she noted that the need for data governance has now expanded its reach into non-regulated industries as well.
Diverse perspectives on data governance
Understanding the various stakeholder perspectives on data governance was a key theme of the discussion. Stakeholders approach data governance from their unique angles, but all work towards a common goal: value creation and quality management. Whether it’s HR departments, CFOs, or legal compliance teams, all parties recognise the power of consistent and standardised reporting.
However, harmonising these diverse perspectives can pose a considerable challenge. As I pointed out during the webinar, each stakeholder brings a distinctive viewpoint to the table, making it vital to demonstrate incremental value to secure board approval.
The role of automation and incremental approach
Automation emerged as a key theme in our discussion. Both Ben and Peggy concurred on its significance in data governance. Ben noted that focusing on critical data flows could drive better business outcomes by yielding significant cost savings and improving accuracy. Peggy also spotlighted the role of proper documentation and governance, suggesting that automation could play a vital part in keeping this process accurate and timely.
One of the biggest challenges, as I emphasised during the webinar, is when organisations try to bite off more than they can chew. All three of us concurred on the importance of starting small rather than trying to grapple with everything at once when it comes to operationalising data governance.
Looking ahead: What does the future hold?
As we cast our gaze towards the future, understanding data flow, or data lineage, will continue to be paramount. This will be especially true in meeting regulatory requirements in highly regulated environments like banks or insurers. Ben Marden noted that this understanding is critical in reducing downtime and enhancing customer satisfaction.
Peggy Tsai then offered an insightful suggestion. She proposed that organisations that have implemented a data governance programme with a focus on compliance can shift towards a more strategic approach. They can achieve this by applying analytics to the governed data to support other strategic business initiatives.
In conclusion, the webinar was an enlightening journey through the multifaceted aspects of data governance and a great beginning to the series. It reinforced my conviction in the importance of data governance and its strategic alignment with business goals. It also underscored the need for a nuanced understanding of the different stakeholder perspectives and the importance of an incremental approach to implementing data governance. As businesses continue to traverse the digital landscape, these insights will be invaluable in ensuring we harness the full potential of our data.
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