5 Fundamental Rules Of Data Governance Business Owners Must Know

The free flow of information across the different sections of an organization is not possible without an effective monitoring mechanism. Business owners need to know the fundamental rules of data governance so that they can create a coherent program. Information is the lifeblood of every organization and its efficient management is necessary for the enterprise’s health. A well-defined data governance approach helps in keeping a close watch on all the assets and the associated processes. This helps in maintaining the quality of the assets and ensuring their security as well. This, in turn, leads to data becoming more usable. However, entrepreneurs seldom pay the same attention to the monitoring mechanism as they do while planning the information management initiative. The following are the core principles that every enterprise owner must know, to initiate a methodical governance plan.

1. Only Data That Facilitates Decision-making Is Valuable

One of the basic principles of governance states that data must be treated as an asset. There is nothing wrong in this statement but you need to understand which information can be classified as an asset. Not every data that you generate is going to be useful. There will be some information that does not serve any valuable purpose. Then there will be elements that seem to be valuable but there are other items that provide the same value as them. Keeping both types of data will only result in a bloated and un-optimized database. It will be pertinent to modify the original statement a bit. Business owners must understand that only the information that facilitates decision-making must be considered as valuable. Any dataset which is ultimately providing a helpful input for making key decisions must be classified as an asset.

2. Governance Must Enhance The Value Of The Data

Implementing governance requires the investment of significant resources. The organization has to finally weigh the gains made from the program against the investment. This means that the monitoring program needs to be optimized to generate maximum returns on the investment. The procedures must be applied only if they increase the value of an asset. In case, there is no visible benefit in monitoring an element, then keeping it under the purview of the scheme does not make sense. The same resources that are being used to handle the item can be spent on another more valuable asset. This must be the benchmark to measure the value of each element of your program.

3. Know Your Data Value Chain

One of the most important rules of data governance is to know your data value chain. Every information element has a value chain that has four components. The first is the producer who is responsible for generating the information. This can be any source that provides key data to you. Then comes the publisher who acquires this element and then stores it in the database. The publisher is the one responsible for making the item accessible to all relevant users. The third link in the chain is the consumer who uses a solution like analytics to evaluate the information. The final component is the decision-maker who uses the assessment provided by the consumer to draw inferences and make decisions. You need to understand who plays each role in your enterprise. In some cases, a single entity may be entrusted with more than one responsibility.

4. Ownership And Accountability Roles Need to Be Defined Clearly

There must be no ambiguity when it comes to establishing the ownership of data assets. Enterprises need to foster an environment where information flows smoothly between different users. Sharing will lead to improved decision-making. However, the ownership roles need to be defined clearly right at the beginning so that there is no confusion afterward. It is the duty of the stewards and business users to assess the nature of the assets and assign their accountability to appropriate entities. The definitions of the elements and their ownership must be documented and made available to everyone across the enterprise. This will be helpful in ensuring the safety of the assets as they will not be accessed by unauthorized users.

5. Standardized Rules Must Be Applied

Governance involves the creation of guidelines for accessing, defining, and securing the assets. It is necessary to apply standardized rules to each aspect so that the vital elements are always protected. The application of such regulations is also important because of compliance requirements. Most jurisdictions around the world have legal regulations for accessing and securing personal data. Your governance rules must be aligned with the applicable laws so that your entire information management program is in compliance with the mandatory regulations. Once a well-defined policy has been formulated, it must be communicated to everyone and strictly followed by the organization.


An information management initiative is incomplete without a complementary monitoring mechanism. You must know these basic rules of data governance consulting to create a plan which supports your data management program and allows you to draw maximum value out of it.

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