Author: Shaheen Mulla

Posted On Jan 22, 2021   |   6 Mins Read

What is Data Governance?

In the age of digital transformation, data has become the lifeblood of organizations. But with the abundance of data comes the need for effective management and governance. So, what exactly is data governance? Put simply, data governance is the framework and set of processes that ensure the availability, integrity, and security of data across an organization. It involves defining policies, procedures, and responsibilities to guide the collection, storage, usage, and sharing of data. Data governance aims to establish a unified approach to data management, ensuring consistency, accuracy, and compliance with regulations. By implementing robust data governance practices, organizations can enhance data quality, mitigate risks, and enable informed decision-making. It empowers businesses to maximize the value of their data assets, gain customer trust, and drive sustainable growth. From data stewardship to data classification, metadata management, and data privacy, data governance encompasses various aspects that contribute to a well-structured and governed data ecosystem. So, whether you are a data professional, a business leader, or simply curious about the world of data, understanding the importance and intricacies of data governance is essential in today’s data-driven landscape.

What is a data governance solution?

A data governance solution is a comprehensive framework, strategy, and set of tools implemented by organizations to manage, protect, and optimize their data assets throughout their lifecycle. It encompasses various policies, processes, and technologies aimed at ensuring data quality, security, compliance, and effective utilization.

Key Components of a Data Governance Solution:

  1. Data Policies and Standards: Establishing guidelines, rules, and best practices for data management, including data quality, data lineage, data classification, and access controls.
  2. Data Stewardship: Designating individuals or teams responsible for managing and maintaining data assets, ensuring adherence to data policies and resolving data-related issues.
  3. Metadata Management: Collecting, documenting, and organizing metadata (information about data) to provide insights into data sources, transformations, and usage.
  4. Data Quality Management: Implementing processes to monitor, measure, and improve the accuracy, completeness, consistency, and timeliness of data.
  5. Data Security and Privacy: Defining and enforcing access controls, encryption, and authentication mechanisms to safeguard sensitive data and ensure compliance with data protection regulations.
  6. Data Cataloging and Discovery: Creating a centralized catalog that allows users to easily find, understand, and access available data assets for analysis and reporting.
  7. Data Lineage and Impact Analysis: Tracking the flow of data from source to destination and assessing the potential impact of changes on downstream systems and reports.
  8. Change Management: Managing changes to data structures, definitions, and processes while minimizing disruptions and ensuring data integrity.
  9. Compliance and Regulatory Reporting: Ensuring data practices align with industry regulations and standards and facilitating reporting and audit requirements.
  10. Data Lifecycle Management: Guiding the lifecycle of data from creation and ingestion to archival or deletion, including data retention policies.
  11. Collaboration and Workflow: Enabling collaboration among data stakeholders, data stewards, and data users to facilitate data governance activities.
  12. Monitoring and Auditing: Regularly monitoring data activities, detecting anomalies, and conducting audits to ensure ongoing adherence to data governance policies.
  13. Data Integration and Transformation: Supporting data integration processes, including data cleansing, transformation, and enrichment.

Data governance solutions can vary in complexity and scope based on the organization’s size, industry, regulatory environment, and data landscape. Implementing an effective data governance solution contributes to improved data quality, better decision-making, enhanced regulatory compliance, and increased overall data value.

Microsoft Azure Purview – Best Data Governance Solution Tool

Microsoft Azure Purview establishes the foundation for unified data governance. It promises to cut down on manual and custom efforts to discover and classify data. The primary features of Purview include:

  • Data governance to authorize, categorize, and trace the data
  • Data map to establish proper relationships between the data sources in the data estate
  • Data catalog to enable automated data discovery along with semantic search and not text-based search which will, in turn, save a lot of time for the data analysts
  • Data lineage tracking to understand the effect of the changes in data fields across all the processes running in the organization
  • Generating insights about the usage of the data sources

I believe that some of the quick gains that Purview brings for us data engineers are:

  • Save 80% of time of Analysts thanks to data catalog, the data discovery technique of Purview
  • Insights into data usage and the data flow of the entire data estate
  • Impact analysis and data lineage that helps in the identification of all the areas which would be affected as a result of changes in a specific data-field
  • Setting confidentiality levels and avoidance of the confidential data leaks

Purview has been made available for a public preview free of cost for now so that more and more people can get to explore it. The overarching benefits that Purview promises to deliver are:

  • Availability of the entire data sources in the single view
  • Better protection of data
  • Data Analysts spend lesser time in the data discovery
  • Data lineage tracking
  • Impact analysis and root cause analysis of the processes

With handy single-point solutions like Purview, Data Analysts will have additional bandwidth to focus on more important things. When leveraged in a proper way, with the right expertise to utilize its complete potential, Purview might just be a recommended solution for a lot of our data-related challenges.