Data governance 3.0: Running business according to data 

Christopher Tredger
By Christopher Tredger, Portals editor
Johannesburg, 04 Mar 2020
Sizwe Gwala, data governance manager at Alexander Forbes.
Photo: Alexander Scott Lambley
Sizwe Gwala, data governance manager at Alexander Forbes. Photo: Alexander Scott Lambley

Data governance is no longer the sole responsibility of data stewards as businesses embrace a more collaborative approach, involving data citizens.

With this approach, all stakeholders in the business are responsible for the data with which they engage along all data touch-points in the organisation.

This is according to Sizwe Gwala, data governance manager at Alexander Forbes, who addressed delegates on the first day of the ITWeb Business Intelligence Summit 2020 in Sandton, Johannesburg this week.

Today businesses are moving on from what is considered a siloed approach to data governance that is highly expensive and that offers no single view of products, services or other resources, said Gwala.

He explained that IT teams at Alexander Forbes are directly involved in developing a data governance strategy with the objective to elevate the level of maturity of the business and attain ‘level 3.0’ status.

“This is the highest form of data governance and most organisations are striving to achieve it,” said Gwala.

This level is characterised by data centricity - businesses is practically run according to data, and features aspects such as self-service analytics and zero-code automated workflows.

Gwala emphasised that businesses are becoming increasingly aware of the strategic importance of data governance and realise there is more to this than just policy, regulation and compliance.

“Data governance is much more than policy and acting as a watchdog, there is now an opportunity to monetise the data asset,” he added.

He also advised that in preparing a data governance strategy, decision makers should consider developing a change management strategy at the same time.

This will help the business during the process of transition and alleviate any issues that have the potential to disrupt or negatively impact this process.