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erwin Expert Blog

What’s the State of Data Governance and Empowerment in 2021?

erwin by Quest just released the “2021 State of Data Governance and Empowerment” report. Building on prior research, we worked with Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) to understand how organizations are defining, adopting and prioritizing data governance, as well as examine the current drivers and challenges of governing data through its lifecycle and integration points.

It’s safe to say that the world looks a lot different than it did just 15 months ago. Today, data needs to fuel rapid decisions that make an organization more effective, customer-centric and competitive. That was true before COVID-19, and it’s even more important in the face of the radical disruption it’s caused.

As a matter of fact, according to the report, 84% of organizations believe their data represents the best opportunity for gaining a competitive advantage during the next 12 to 24 months.

This past year also saw a major shift as the silos between data governance, data operations and data protection diminished, with enterprises seeking to understand their data and the systems they use and secure to empower smarter decision-making.

Highlighting this shift, 82% of organizations have mostly, if not completely, aligned their data governance and data protection strategies, with 55% of survey respondents citing “data protection” as the term they most closely associate with data governance. Additionally, 85% monitor their databases and other data systems as part of their data governance programs. Furthermore, nearly three-quarters reported a need to dramatically improve data infrastructure.

Data Governance Strategy

What else did we learn?

Data Governance Definition Varies

There is still no consensus on how to define data governance. When asked for a definition, the two most popular responses were:

  • Building a set of policies that governs data.
  • Ensuring data usage follows defined rules.

While neither of these answers are wrong, they continue to illustrate that there’s no standard definition.

At erwin, we define data governance as helping organizations establish a sound yet flexible framework for awareness of and access to available data assets, guidance on their use, and guardrails to ensure data policies and best practices are followed.

A New Level of Maturity

When asked “how mature is your data governance program/what stage are you in,” 42% of organizations said they’ve fully implemented data governance.

That’s in sharp contrast to our last study that showed 38% of data governance programs were a work in progress and 31% were just getting started.

So it appears that enterprise data governance programs have indeed reached a new level of maturity, but the majority (58%) say their data governance programs are evolving. However, if we’ve learned anything, isn’t it that data governance is an ever-evolving, ever-changing tenet of modern business?

Key Bottlenecks and Challenges

We explored the bottlenecks and issues causing delays across the entire data value chain.

Thematically “data quality” is at the heart desired data governance outcomes, challenges and bottlenecks, pointing to its overall importance.

Finding, identifying and harvesting data assets, the performance of systems where data is stored, documenting end-to-end data lineage, and visibility into mechanisms to protect data round out the top five bottlenecks to achieving optimal data value.

These are largely consistent with what we learned in our last study, with data system performance and protection making their debut this year as highly relevant problems to address.

With regard to challenges, respondents cite data quality and accuracy, skills shortages/gaps, cost, cultural change and operationalizing data governance – making it a working reality as opposed to a concept – as the top issues to address in maximizing data governance ROI.

Interestingly, 5% said they have no challenges – wouldn’t we like them to share their rose-colored glasses data governance glasses?

Other Key Findings

The report has a lot to unpack, but here is a snapshot of some other key findings:

Time is a major factor.

  • Data stewards still spend too much time on data-related activities, including analyzing (23%), protecting (23%) and searching for data (20%).
  • It takes most business users (e.g., developers, analysts, data scientists) one to two business days to receive the data they request from IT.

More automation opportunities exist.

  • While 42% of organizations have some mix of manual and automated processes, 93% say there’s room to incorporate more automation into their data operations.
  • In line with ensuring trust in data, data quality (27%), data integration (17%), and data preparation (14%) are the three data operations automated the most.

Self-service done right is a game-changer.

  • 93% of organizations have already or plan to leverage self-service in provisioning data, showing that self-service is more important than ever.
  • Seven out of 10 respondents report their organizations’ self-service data provisioning enablement has had a significant business impact.

The Path to Data Empowerment

The report validates Quest’s newly launched Data Empowerment strategy and platform that bridges the gaps between data infrastructure, security and governance initiatives to mitigate risk and unleash more value from data.

Data governance provides visibility, automation, governance and collaboration for data democratization.

As part of a Data Empowerment platform — data governance puts real-time, relevant, role-based data in context in the hands of users to optimize the enterprise data capability.

So with these solutions working in concert, you can ensure the availability of secure, high-quality data to empower everyone in your organization to be more successful – that’s a win-win for employees and the organization in accomplishing its mission.

Click here to download a free copy of the “2021 State of Data Governance and Empowerment” report.

And join us for the Quest Data Empowerment Summit this week, May 18-20. It includes three unique tracks —Data OperationsData Protection and Data Governance — with sessions about the latest trends, best practices and technologies to align these critical areas and close the gaps between your front and back office.

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erwin Expert Blog Data Governance

Top Data Management Trends for Chief Data Officers (CDOs)

Chief Data Officer (CDOs) 2021 Study

The role of chief data officer (CDO) is becoming essential at forward-thinking organizations — especially those in financial services — according to “The Evolving Role of the CDO at Financial Organizations: 2021 Chief Data Officer (CDO) Study” just released by FIMA and sponsored by erwin.

The e-guide takes a deep dive into the evolving role of CDOs at financial organizations, tapping into the minds of 100+ financial global financial leaders and C-suite executives to look at the latest trends and provide a roadmap for developing an offensive data management strategy.

Data Governance Is Not Just About Compliance

Interestingly, the report found that 45% of respondents say compliance is now handled so well that it is no longer the top driver for data governance, while 38% say they have fully realized a “governance 2.0” model in which the majority of their compliance concerns are fully automated.”

Chief data officers and other data professionals have taken significant steps toward a data governance model that doesn’t just safeguard data but also drives business improvements.

erwin also found this to be the case as revealed in our 2020 “State of Data Governance and Automation” report.

However, while compliance is no longer the top driver of data governance, it still requires a significant investment. According to the CDO report, 88% of organizations devote 40% or more of their data practice’s operating budget to compliance activities.

COVID’s Impact on Data Management

FIMA also looked at 2020 and the pandemic’s impact on data management.

Some financial organizations that were approaching a significant level of data management maturity had to put their initiatives on hold to address more immediate issues. But it led some sectors to innovate, moving processes that were once manual to the digital realm.

The research team asked respondents to describe how their data practices were impacted by the need to adapt to changes in the work environment created by COVID-19. “Overall, most respondents said they avoided any catastrophic impact on their data operations. Most of these respondents note the fact that they had been updating their tools and programs ahead of time to prepare for such risks, and those investments inevitably paid off.”

The respondents who did note that the pandemic caused a disruption repeatedly said that they nonetheless managed to “keep everything in check.” As one CIO at an investment bank puts it, “Data practices became more precise and everyone got more conscious as the pandemic reached its first peak. Key programs have been kept in check and have been restarted securely.”

What Keeps CDOs Up at Night

Financial services organizations are usually at the forefront of data management and governance because they operate in such a heavily regulated environment. So it’s worth knowing what’s on those data executives’ minds, even if your organization is in another sector.

For example, the FIMA study indicates that:

  • 70% of CDOs say risk data aggregation is a primary regulatory concern within the IT departments.
  • Compliance is secondary to overall business improvement, but 88% of organizations devote 40%+ of their data practice’s operating budget to it.
  • Lack of downstream visibility into data consumption (69%) and unclear data provenance and tagging information (65%) are significant challenges.
  • They struggle to apply metadata.
  • Manual processes remain.

The e-guide discusses how data executives must not only secure data and meet rigorous data requirements but also find ways to create new business value with it.

All CDOs and other data professionals likely must deal with the challenges mentioned above – plus improve customer outcomes and boost profitability.

Both mitigating risk and unleashing potential is possible with the right tools, including data catalog, data literacy and metadata-driven automation capabilities for data governance and any other data-centric use case.

Harmonizing Data Management and Data Governance Processes

With erwin Data Intelligence by Quest, your organization can harness and activate your data in a single, unified catalog and then make it available to your data communities in context and in line with business requirements.

The solution harmonizes data management and governance processes to fuel an automated, real-time, high-quality data pipeline enterprise stakeholders can tap into for the information they need to achieve results. Such data intelligence leads to faster, smarter decisions to improve overall organizational performance.

Data is governed properly throughout its lifecycle, meeting both offensive and defensive data management needs. erwin Data Intelligence provides total data visibility, end-to-end data lineage and provenance.

To download the full “The Evolving Role of the CDO at Financial Organizations: 2021 Chief Data Officer (CDO) Study,” please visit: https://go.erwin.com/the-evolving-role-of-the-cdo-at-financial-organizations-report.

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erwin Expert Blog

Data Governance Automation: What’s the Current State of Data Governance and Automation?

A new study into data governance automation indicates organizations are prioritising value-adding use cases, over efforts concerning regulatory compliance.