data governance

Building sustainable enterprises with robust data governance

Data is one of the most significant assets for enterprises today as it empowers business leaders with the ability to support, make quick decisions based on facts & trends in their Business-as-Usual (BAU); functions and make strategic choices on future growth plans. Given the higher volume of data streaming into an organization today, it is crucial to deliver the correct information at the right time to the right people, to enable the company to grow and capitalize on new opportunities.

Data governance is not only about data models/structures, but the governance around entire end-to-end business processes, people, and systems – and making suitable improvements to have a better experience and increase operational efficiencies. One of the recent McKinsey reports titled, ‘The data-driven Enterprise of 2025’ highlighted that by 2025, and most employees will utilize data to optimize almost every element of their work. Smart processes and seamless interactions between humans and robots will probably be as ubiquitous as the corporate balance sheet.

Why is data governance critical to organizations’ success? 

In day-to-day business, data helps in organizing better and brings in operational efficiency. This enables enterprises to gain a competitive advantage over their industry peers. Insights can be leveraged for market research and price optimization, to provide an enhanced customer experience.

A corporate data governance program is necessary for regulatory compliance, standardization, and protection of your business and its clients from misuse. Contextualization, consistency, and trustworthiness are crucial for any organization to scale up because the same data powers next-generation business platforms with AI/ML capabilities. It is a collaborative, purposeful, and continued approach that enables you to discover and track data, comprehend it in the appropriate context and maximize its security, reliability, and utility.

Datafication of digital first organizations 

Datafication of businesses enables organizations to improve operations to boost efficiency and revenue. It can help organizations complete day-to-day activities in optimal manner having micro level visibility and help providers to stay competitive by streamlining operations. Therefore, to build a data-driven organization, companies must adopt a progressive and sustainable strategy based on maturity.

Here are the five crucial steps for digital-first organizations:

  1. Businesses are generating data at exponentially. According to Statista, the overall volume of data in 2020 was 64.2 zettabytes, with a projected increase to 181 zettabytes by 2025. Thus, building a data collection strategy with a holistic view needs to be aligned with your business goal is of utmost importance.
  1. Legacy data obtained through manual processes usually lacks consistency, accuracy, thoroughness, reliability, and relevance, rendering insights questionable for strategy development. Moreover, managing legacy data in an electronic or digitized form could be difficult since it is mostly “unstructured” and exists in the form of documents, drawings, or texts. Datafication (analogue to digital), will help in digitization of this historical data obtained through manual processes, which will bring in agility and contribute qualitatively in decision making. 
  1. Going forward, businesses should define processes from every part of the organization (financials, procurement, legal, customer, sales, marketing, employee, HR, recruitment, production, social, connected devices, etc.) so that the data is collected in a structured manner and in real-time. Structured data’s distinct and well-organized architecture makes it easier to access and comprehend. If users have a fundamental understanding of the subject, they will be able to analyse the data.
  1. Automation can help businesses increase productivity across all departments, from production to sales, and ensure that unnecessary errors are avoided. Different sub-functions have varied possibilities for performance improvement through automation, and technologies are needed to fully realize this potential. The secret for companies that are considering automation, is to pinpoint the processes that call for tech intervention, and the efficiencies and outcomes it may deliver. Business leaders should build business platforms with automation and analytics capabilities for better visibility on efficiency and to aid in business growth.
  1. Enterprises’ strategic, tactical, and operational levels are impacted by data governance programs. Therefore, data governance programs must be viewed as an ongoing and iterative process to efficiently manage and use data within the context of the firm and in collaboration with other data projects. Organizations should review and optimize their data governance strategies every quarter.

Businesses that have transformed digitally using data as an asset will possess a competitive edge over other companies operating in their sector and will be regarded as innovators and leaders in their respective industries. Therefore, companies should perform detailed data analysis, create quality benchmark criteria, and implement improvement initiatives.

The article has been written by Munishk Gupta, EVP, Fulcrum Digital Inc.

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