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Data Governance: 5 Big Ideas for 2018

It’s 2018, and the data governance strategy that worked for you in the past may no longer be up to par. Fortunately, you can improve it. Here are five strategies for making your data governance strategy even better.

As companies grow, new technologies emerge and new types of data-related challenges appear, the strategy you use to govern your data may need to be updated.

New compliance frameworks may impact your business. You might be collecting data from more sources. And you are probably dealing with more data, because the volume of data that organizations collect tends to increase steadily over time.

As you assess whether your data governance strategy is still sufficient for your needs, consider the following opportunities for improving it.

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Create Citizen Data Scientists

In a world where data is everywhere, data management is not the responsibility of data engineers alone — or at least, it should not be.

You can streamline your data management processes, while also helping everyone in your organization appreciate the value of data, by striving to turn all of your employees into “citizen data scientists.”

This doesn’t mean that everyone has to become a data engineering expert; instead, it requires educating your employees in the fundamentals of data collection and processing, teaching them why data quality is important and so on.

Consider a Multi-Cloud Data Strategy

Multi-cloud computing, which means using multiple public or private clouds at once as part of your IT infrastructure, is a hot topic in the IT world today.

Although multi-cloud computing can apply to any type of workload, consider whether it might help you improve your data management processes in particular. Would spreading your data across multiple clouds help you to increase availability or lower data-management costs? Could it help you improve portability and avoid vendor lock-in?

Prepare for New Compliance Challenges

Compliance rules tend to become more complicated and challenging over time. For this reason, it’s a best practice to step back periodically and assess whether your data governance strategy still keeps you safely within the guidelines set by whichever regulatory frameworks apply to you.

Today, this may mean assessing your readiness to meet the data privacy and availability requirements set by the GDPR. And keep in mind that, yes, the GDPR probably matters for your business even if you are not based in the European Union, which created the framework.

Strive for Scale

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Again, the volume of data that you need to accommodate is very likely to increase steadily over time. That means that it is critical to build scalability into your data governance strategy — and to add more scalability whenever you can.

In practice, scalability means things like ensuring that your storage infrastructure can grow quickly. If you are currently dependent on on-premise storage servers, you might consider moving data to the cloud (if your budget, regulatory needs and other factors allow it) because the cloud offers virtually unlimited storage.

Similarly, think about your data teams and their ability to scale. Can your engineers continue to handle workloads as they grow larger? How might citizen data scientists (see above) help to improve your data-management scalability?

Plan for Next-Generation Technologies

Today, your IT workloads may run on bare-metal servers or virtual machines. Or maybe you have adopted containers, a newer type of infrastructure technology. Meanwhile, maybe you also have some data that is still stored on tapes, because legacy infrastructure is a fact of life. And it’s anyone’s guess as to which infrastructure technologies might roll out tomorrow.

An effective data governance strategy should be able to accommodate existing data management technologies while also supporting those that will appear in the future. Avoiding strict dependency on certain vendors or types of infrastructure is one way to achieve this flexibility.

You also, of course, want to ensure that at least some members of your IT team are paying attention to what’s on the horizon technology-wise, and experimenting with it early so that you are in a position to take advantage of it when the time comes.

Download our white paper to find out more about the keys to data governance success.

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