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As the challenge of protecting customer data increases, more businesses are implementing data governance strategies to manage the information that serves as the lifeline of their company. Data has become a critical component of the information economy, and having a data governance strategy is important for businesses of all sizes.

How do you increase your data governance efforts? Having a full view of metadata across your entire BI infrastructure is imperative. Thanks to metadata management automation, all of the metadata is accessible and available in one place. Comparing and contrasting a data dictionary vs. business glossary is also important.

A data dictionary provides you with information about your data. Anything related to your business that’s needed to define is included in the data dictionary. A business glossary helps you better understand the data that you use. It defines the different terminology across each of your business units.

It’s important for businesses to know what’s going on within their organization, but also with their customers, partners, and vendors. Getting real-time access to this information is important for the prolonged success of your business. Companies can get a handle on their data by protecting it. Here are six easy steps every company can take to govern their data.

Determine the Strategy

The first step is to come up with an effective strategy for developing your data governance structure. This strategy can be initiated by writing your data governance charter with a group of stakeholders and others involved with the project. This charter should include an explanation and mission statement about the overall goals of the data governance program.

Only high-level executives should have the option to sign off on this charter before implementing this strategy. The charter should include details about who has the authority to do whatever with the data. It should also explain what the data governance standards will include.

Choose the Right People

The next step in any successful data governance program is to identify a person within your organization who can delegate the authority of the CEO and make that person accountable for change. Data governance is a political challenge that also requires the use of multiple stakeholders. Leadership within the organization should be your top priority. Once you appoint someone, the governor should create a governing council that consists of multiple stakeholders who can formulate policies and report updates to the CEO and board of directors.

Survey the Situation

Once you have the right people in place, it’s time to survey the current practices across the diverse domains. The use of enterprise data governance assessment methodology is important for this task. It provides your organization with a benchmark for where your company’s data governance program is now and where it will be headed tomorrow.

Develop a Data Governance Strategy

Following the data governance assessment, your governance council should create a vision of where it wants your company’s data governance practices to be in the future. This can help you create a vision for your organization’s future. The council should set goals and milestones that are easy to achieve. This can help you establish indicators that allow you to track the progress and deliver annual reports to the CEO and board members.

Calculate the Value of Your Data

If your company doesn’t know its worth, then you can’t enhance, measure, or protect the value of the data down to its bottom line. Data is crucial to the life of your business, yet it’s often taken granted. But you can’t calculate the value of something if you don’t know its value. To calculate your data, you need to build an initial marketplace that’s based on user entitlements and the utility of IT services. The value of this data is included when everyone in the organization invests in IT services and data directly.

Calculate the Probability of Risk

Knowing how your data has been abused and used in the past can reduce the risk of it becoming compromised and disclosed in the near future. Every organization has its own business reports, causes, events, hierarchies, and losses. This data is already made available by most organizations.

Collecting it and revealing its meaning can help your organization change risk management into a fact-based solution for analyzing past events, changing current policy requirements, and forecasting future losses to improve your mitigation strategies.

Monitor the Efficiency of Your Efforts

Data governance should be focused on organizational behavior. Organizations and their data change every day. Its risk and value change rapidly thanks to technology. Unfortunately, most organizations only assess their data once a year. If your business isn’t able to accept change or meet demands, then it’s never going to govern change.

Data governance includes more than compliance, security, or risk management. It includes all of these factors and more. It’s an advanced discipline that helps you redefine the protection and value of your data. It’s about how your organization uses this data to your benefit and protects itself in the meantime. Data governance should be at the top of every CIO’s priority list.

To reduce these risks, organizations should govern their data usage and ensure governance by documenting processes and technology that supports the business decision-making process. Protecting corporate information and using this improved data quality will not only satisfy your auditors and regulators, but it’ll also retain customers and increase new business opportunities.Opinions expressed here are the opinions of the author. Influencive does not endorse or review brands mentioned; does not and can not investigate relationships with brands, products, and people mentioned and is up to the author to disclose. VIP Contributors and Contributors, amongst other accounts and articles, are professional fee-based.