Across user surveys, and in our discussions with clients and vendors, the topic of data governance continues to show high levels of interest, need, importance, and investment—both in 2020 and in the longer term. The reasons for close attention to data governance center around the need for data that is well-defined, of consistent quality, timely, and fit for use. Many tools, methodologies, and frameworks can help build a data governance program.
But we also find that the origins of data governance arise from specific owners with different goals in mind. These usually pertain to either business outcomes (better decision-making, higher revenue, increased competitive advantages), some element of compliance or risk management (industry regulations, access controls), or a unique need (cloud data, third-party data, or schema-less data). Thus, the considerations for data governance vary from one organization to the next, according to industry, department, user role, organizational function, maturity, culture, and business need.
Modern business-oriented data governance programs (especially in larger organizations) can arise from mandates and formal structures that include sponsorship, steering, subject-matter expert, and stewardship roles. But more recently we find both top-down and grassroots (bottom-up) programs tackling elements of data governance. These latter efforts can be ad-hoc and less formal, addressing specific but critical needs for report consolidation, data definitions, standardized processes, or other important governance groundwork. These efforts might be led by motivated, undedicated resources in IT, business intelligence (BI), sales, or compliance departments. Roles play a large part in shaping one’s context and considerations for governance.
As such, Dresner Advisory Services will address this topic in a series of Research Insights—this overview report being the first in that series. Other reports will focus on analyzing specific considerations and factors for the roles of governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) professionals, BI users/practitioners, marketing and sales professionals, and data scientists/analysts.
Executive SummaryOur research indicates that governance remains a growing, highly rated, and top-tier technology or initiative strategic to BI. Governance shows a continuous rise as a technology priority. In 2020, a majority of organizations consider governance critical or very important. More than 80 percent of respondents consider governing content creation and sharing (for example, via policies, controls, and applied technologies) critical or very important to their organizations. The topic of governance drives collaboration and content creation and sharing for self-service BI usage. Vendors strongly support this focus. Respondents identify defined access levels, administrative oversight, integration with access management systems, and the ability to certify official versions of shared metadata as the BI content governance features they consider critical or very important. The smallest organizations least often consider governance strategic, while the largest organizations consider it strategic most often. A large majority of organizations—78 percent—rate themselves either above average or at the highest level for achievement of data as truth in their organizations. Common trust in data/governance represents a key factor contributing to BI success. Roles play a large part in shaping one’s context for governance. Dresner Advisory Services will address this topic in a series of Research Insights—this overview report being the first in that series. Other reports will focus on analyzing specific considerations and factors for the roles of GRC professionals, BI users/practitioners, marketing and sales professionals, and data scientists/analysts. Considerations for data governance vary from one organization to the next according to industry, department, user role, organizational function, maturity, culture, and business need. Structure provided through governance and its associated standardizations also creates tremendous potential sources of value for organizations.