Beyond the new government regulations and laws such as Sarbanes-Oxley, General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Sunshine Act and recently the California Consumer Protection Act, implementing a data governance program is a good business practice for the following reasons:
1. Ungoverned data presents an immense risk to any organization. Decisions are made on data and any inaccuracies or use of irrelevant data can be costly. Almost every executive would agree that data is one of a company’s biggest assets and it should be treated as such.
2. There is a large amount of external data available to most companies which can become a huge competitive advantage for any company using it properly. The ability for a company to bring in new data sources and integrate them into their current systems requires a mature and robust data architecture and a data governance framework for managing that data.
3. As organizations mature and enterprise applications are implemented, inefficient excel spreadsheets continue to contain critical data and with many errors. Data governance programs must address these issues.
4. In most organizations, data flows throughout the company without control or documentation. Oftentimes, system ownership for key data entities has not been defined, data is updated in multiple places, and reports throughout the organization are not consistent. To overcome these challenges, some organizations have implemented a Data Warehouse solution as part of the data governance architecture.
5. Data has value, but only when it is accurate, timely, available, shared efficiently, and well defined. Companies cannot realize the full value that data has to offer until they fully govern it.
6. The law requires it. Regulations protect consumers and therefore require companies to actively protect consumer data. New laws allow consumers to ask how their personal data is being used and sold and can require the company to delete all their data from the organization’s systems. Most organizations are simply not ready for this without a robust data governance program.
7. Data governance is needed to meet compliance requirements. Core to FDA and other health authorities’ requirements is maintenance of all documentation around clinical trials with authorization and sign-off at key steps. Authorization ensures accountability.
To learn the 9 key steps to getting data architecture right the first time, download our whitepaper on The Importance and Role of Data Integrity in the Life Science Industry.