What is data governance?

Data governance is like the WHO-WHAT-HOW-WHEN-WHERE-WHY of data management. It’s all about how you handle the data collected within your business.

All organizations need to plan how they use data so it’s handled consistently throughout the business.

This not only ensures that data is safe and handled in compliance with regulations but also helps you gain value from all the information at your fingertips – improving business performance.

The Data Governance Institute (DGI) has outlined some of the benefits of data governance. They include:

  • Enabling better decision-making
  • Reducing operational friction
  • Reducing costs and increasing effectiveness through coordination of efforts.

How do you achieve this?

The Institute’s Data Governance Strategy is a set of best-practice guidelines, which include transparency, integrity, and accountability.



The way you handle data should be completely transparent. This isn’t just about ticking boxes for the auditors – transparency allows greater visibility into your organization, improving collaboration, revealing inefficiencies and helping you recognize new opportunities.

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Analytics depends on the quality of your data, so it’s essential that you can trust it.
Transparency is part of this – who, what and where the data comes from ensures the integrity of your data company-wide. Without integrity, you won’t gain true value from your data.


Accountability for data should be assigned to certain individuals or teams. They will be responsible for allowing staff, suppliers and others who request it, access to enterprise data.

Further reading:

Read more about data security and the importance of a data governance strategy or compare governance features for leading business analytics tools in our BI comparison guide.

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