It’s a data-driven and digital world out there! Information is one of the most important strategic assets of an organization. The exponential growth of information [Big Data Statistics 2020] makes data governance a key priority for every organization. Corporate boardrooms have always taken information security and data privacy very seriously since it directly impacts the overall health of an organization. Therefore, it becomes imperative for businesses to have adequate controls, compliance, and security measures for information to be accessed, governed, or safely transmitted across networks.
While organizations realize the true potential of data governance, a looming Big Data economy is helping uncover new monetization opportunities previously unheard of.
A useful data governance framework offers valuable business insights and a competitive advantage that can fundamentally change how organizations operate and deliver value to customers. However, stringent data privacy processes shouldn’t impede your organization’s foray into data governance and may instead be used to scale up your information governance strategy.
Think Big and Grow Bigger!
When organizations begin to address large scale problems with data-driven solutions, relationships can quickly become complex data strategy when it is becoming a challenge to infer behavior and identify data patterns, which is indicative of growth in your operations. In the absence of an overarching corporate data strategy, managing this transition can be difficult. Organizations must be cognizant that the significance of data needs to ripple across all corners of the organization.
With data-related crimes becoming more brazen, governments across the world are passing legislation to regulate the way businesses handle sensitive data. Legislation includes: the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and other compliances such as the Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) in the USA.
These regulations enforce resource consuming burdens in terms of data governance and auditing. Yet it is not an easy road as many organizations toy with the idea of having a comprehensive data governance strategy. Many global organizations, even with strategic information governance plans in place, are unable to generate tangible results. Generating results remains one of the critical priorities in boardroom discussions.
An enormous cultural shift is required when traditional businesses, who have seen data as intangible, are being ushered into the digital age where the value of data is considerably high. Here is where regulations and compliances with financial implications bring to focus the power of data and compel old-school run businesses to treat corporate data as an asset and understand the benefits and liabilities of managing data.
Data Privacy – Key to a Data Governance Model
Data governance and data privacy almost always complement each other. When organizations are compliant with security guidelines, you can be rest assured that there is an effective data governance strategy in place. While security is a fundamental aspect of data governance, organizations are also waking up to a transformative potential that data governance offers.
At the risk of oversimplifying these broad concepts, data privacy is all about identifying and providing the right people access to relevant information. In contrast, data governance takes a holistic view of information right from its purpose, business value, ownership, data quality, and data lineage. For example, in the banking industry, one must document the process wherein a data element is transformed and is accepted as an analytical statistic or insight. Data security guidelines mandate that enterprises know and maintain records of where their data is stored, user details of those who access this data, and how the organization uses this data.
Organizations, big or small, with a regional or global presence are adopting a proactive stance when dealing with all kinds of data–be it customers or employees’ personal information, or the enterprise’s intellectual properties and trade secrets. Whether you already have an information governance process, or you are just getting started, the law mandates that organizations hold themselves accountable for how it is gathered, processed, and distributed. This can be perceived as resource-intensive, time-consuming, and laborious. However, mismanaged data can create considerable damage to not just the company’s reputation, but also to business continuity.
Meeting such stringent security guidelines need not distort an organization’s data governance strategy, but can further strengthen it to ensure an efficient model. Establishing a rigorous data privacy framework can ensure:
- Flexible governance model: Establishing governance processes, stewardship roles, creates flexible classifications for single-use data vs mission-critical data to ease data governance measures while increasing data quality, metrics, agility, and consistency.
- Easy consent architecture: Sharing a disclosure statement and the system to obtain express consent to data access, usage and storage will increase transparency, high quality, and trust.
- Efficient data governance protocols: Increasing the trust in data reliability that will translate into a strong competitive advantage.
- Improved business outcomes: Enabling high data quality, and accuracy can enable quick and smart decision-making and mitigate any associated risks.
- Better breach response: Provide data auditing processes and general readiness in tackling situations of a data breach or security lapses instills confidence to build better relationships with partners and clients.
The Role of Technology, Tools, and Solutions
Organizations from every industry rely on data and analytics to be their market differentiator and provide them with operational efficiencies, competitive insights, and an innovation edge. Global leaders and CEOs are turning towards emerging technology to play a crucial part in harnessing information, validating, and benchmarking each corporate strategy, and growing the organization’s value. Today, there are a plethora of applications and technology solutions to help stitch disparate pieces of business data together and craft a data-driven strategy that is pervasive across business functions in the organization.
Fast paced business environments need customers insights by synthesizing demographic data, identifying relationships, and delivering personalized customer interactions. Disruptive technology trends have evolved from merely supporting internal decision making to real-time analytics and continuous intelligence by analyzing historical and current data to arrive at an intuitive and highly fluid market or customer insights. With the power of the latest data management tools, you can discover new business trends, different viewpoints of the same data, while ensuring data governance and privacy guidelines are not violated.
Data privacy guidelines help consolidate and safeguard the investments made and, when channelized effectively, can help in reinforcing the organization’s data governance framework. Operationalization of data security need not be a hindrance to your data governance project.
Data privacy, when taken seriously and not just for compliance or regulations, can result in transparency, lowering of risk, and an increase in customer trust. When seen as a business enabler, data privacy presents a complete and contextual view of all data to streamline your omnichannel commerce while improving the supply chain visibility along with a robust data management framework offering an unparalleled competitive edge.