Enabling and Managing the Quality and Use of Data

Effectively managing data privacy and security is a high-stakes matter; failure to do so often becomes front-page news and occasionally becomes a subject of litigation. Yet organizations face an equally challenging imperative to ensure that business users have easy access to the data they need. Depending on how they are implemented, data governance policies can inhibit access to data, making it harder to find and utilize the data assets of an organization. Data governance, the focus of this benchmark research, is a set of practices that enable the effective and appropriate use of data and the information derived from that data. Historically, this has involved setting policies, rules and processes that guide the protection and restrict the use of data and information. However, as the volume of data has risen, organizations have shifted to viewing governance as being about enabling line of business personnel to access and use data as an asset. We are undertaking this benchmark research to learn how organizations are making information more accessible while also retaining appropriate controls over the use of data. We also seek to understand how they are addressing difficulties in establishing data governance policies that align information systems with business priorities and comply with regulations, and how they are executing data governance processes in their management of IT assets, processes and personnel.