Along with daffodils and Mardi Gras, spring 2020 brought a pandemic that has rocked the global economy and changed daily life. As organizations navigate the crisis, they depend on accurate, accessible and usable data to forecast the future and inform decisions. Data governance tools play an essential role in ensuring that businesses realize the full potential of data.
For example, retail businesses need to respond in an agile way to changes in consumer buying habits. With up-to-date data, they can quickly analyze, and even anticipate, those changes. And with more employees working remotely, data governance tools help ensure that the right people can access data securely.
Focus on Process, Supported by Tools
At its heart, data governance involves a culture, a way of approaching information. While tools facilitate that process, they are not data governance in and of themselves. Organizations must determine the objectives they need to meet. Then, they can choose tools with the capability to deliver on those objectives.
Data governance involves activities such as classifying and storing data, keeping that data clean and secure, locating information and managing retention. A number of data governance tools make those processes possible. For example, here are just a few.
1. Data Catalog
Remember when you used to search the library’s card catalog to locate the right sources for a research paper? Those file drawers held index cards with information about the books, including title and author, subject and publication information. Data catalogs serve a similar function.
Data catalogs help organizations locate and manage huge amounts of information. To do so, they depend on properly-managed metadata to provide a snapshot of the information. Metadata can include the data’s location, summary and keywords, creation and access history and more. And machine learning can simplify the process of metadata management.
By searching a centralized data catalog, users can quickly comb through thousands of documents using specific parameters. The catalog helps break down data siloes. And because the data catalog includes security functions like role-based access and encryption, it protects information from unauthorized access.
2. Data Discovery
In order for data to provide value, you must be able to quickly locate and collect it. The right discovery tools provide visibility into your organization’s data, even when that data lives in multiple locations. Likewise, when courts deliver an eDiscovery request with a tight deadline, you can both meet the deadline and also ease the process of early case assessment.
3. Regulatory Compliance Monitoring
For many organizations, data privacy laws such as GDPR and CCPA provide the motivation to implement an information governance strategy. The regulatory environment grows more complex every year. And mismanaged data can cost dearly, not only in hefty fines but also in loss of reputation and corruption of vital business assets.
Ongoing data compliance monitoring provides a view into data access and security, facilitating proactive risk management. Highlight and address potential trouble areas before a breach occurs.
Document retention forms a critical aspect of data governance and your organization’s approach to regulatory compliance. The right archiving tools allow you to save space while achieving compliance and improving search times. Set up automated archiving according to retention parameters you define.
Choosing the Best Data Governance Tools for Your Business Needs
To build a successful information governance strategy, you need to first determine your goals. Then, choose the data governance tools that will support those goals. Look for tools that provide robust data security, as well visibility and management throughout the data lifecycle.
The consultants at Messaging Architects take the confusion out of information governance. From reducing security risks to facilitating eDiscovery and regulatory compliance, we help you to get the most value out of your data.