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DAMA SA sheds light on data governance challenges

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The recent DAMA SA Conference unpacked a number of data governance related issues including real experiences of South African corporates. What was starkly apparent is that business input is critical to achieving data governance, data quality and moving from passive to active data governance, writes Gary Allemann, MD of Master Data Management.

There are many local organisations whose journeys illustrate the complexity of establishing data governance within a large corporate.  It takes many years to really begin to establish data governance. However, once the groundwork has been completed the task of establishing data governance as an enterprise initiative, whatever the challenges that may still remain, become far easier.

Data governance is no longer an emerging discipline. The typical passive approach to data governance, to wait for a problem to occur and then apply the governance activities to resolve it, is no longer sufficient and does not support sound data governance practices. With a passive approach, data governance is siloed – it may well be owned by IT – and solutions are tactical in that they are often geared towards a specific problem only.

Active data governance sees a magnitude of positive outcomes for an organisation big or small. It powers operations, streamlining them and making them more essential to the workforce. It sustains your business, enables it to do more and process housed data to benefit the company. Most importantly it gives your organisation a competitive edge.

Active data governance looks at the strategic picture. What are the potential risks that may arise due to poor data management practises and what actions should be taken in order to prevent them? Organisations need to provide the correct input as well as tools to make the shift towards to active data governance to enable better business practices and empowering their workforce.