30 Days of Compliance Q&A #13: Does My Company Need a Data Governance Plan?

A recent survey by Rand Secure Data showed that 44% of companies don’t have a data governance plan … but 82% of companies face external regulatory requirements on electronic data. Without effective data governance policies and solutions such as archiving, backup and eDiscovery, companies are leaving themselves at serious risk.

The survey concludes with four recommendations:

1. Develop a formal data governance policy or reevaluate your current policy.

If your organization does not have a data governance policy, the first step to improving data governance within your organization is to develop a formal policy. If your organization does have a formal policy, reevaluate that policy to make sure that it is addressing all of your business needs and that your data will be available when and where you need it. This survey shows that no policy is flawless, but continually working to improve you policy can only increase the value your organization derives from its data.

2. Make sure you have a cross-functional approach to data governance.

Data governance is important to everyone within your organization. Everyone in your organization is impacted by your data governance decisions, from C-level executives to corporate counsel to IT managers to end-users – don’t overlook their needs and the importance of involving them in the decision making process. Once you have developed a data governance policy, make sure everyone in your organization is aware of the policy and educated on how they can benefit from and contribute to your data governance policy.

3. Make sure your data governance policy complies with your legal and regulatory requirements.

Since nearly all organizations must manage their data to meet certain legal and regulatory requirements, it is vital that your data governance policy clearly outlines how you will achieve this requirement. Different types of data have different requirements for retention periods – it is important that you define these requirements and implement a solution to help you meet them.

4. Consider implementing new technology solutions.

Regularly evaluate the technology solutions you have in place to support your data governance policies. In order to succeed with data governance, your data governance solutions must be efficient and reliable. With the massive growth of data expected in the upcoming years, organizations must understand the impact their technology solutions have on their bottom line.

Read the full report here: 2013 Data Governance Results.




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