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Modern Data + AI Integration:Strategies and Architectures

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Security vs Flexibility: Picking the Right Data and Analytics Governance Platform

Data and analytics governance is an up-and-coming aspect of data management that is causing difficulties not only with implementation but also with driving value. While everyone agrees that data governance is intrinsic to a modern enterprise, the definition of what that entails can vary as well as how to measure the success of it. Trying to balance security and oversight across an enterprise while not restricting data is a thin line to walk and one that’s becoming more and more important every year.

Data and analytics governance platforms are an essential part of a unified modern data solution. As an integrated set of capabilities that applies governance policies, governance platforms help everyone from C-level on down monitor, audit, check, and apply security and quality policies across systems. Unlike data integration or management tools, governance tools focus on applying and enforcing policies across enterprise systems. Often used in conjunction with other tools, a governance platform is the cornerstone of compliance and security in a data solution of any type.

Although there are many data and analytics governance tools on the market, finding the right one for your situation and creating the most value from it can be tricky, especially when success is measured in different ways by different departments. More robust tools that can manage lower time and wage costs are often specialized or cumbersome to use, whereas tools that are streamlined for easier data delivery can cause bottlenecks with data engineering teams as new pipelines are constantly required. According to Gartner’s 2019 Data and Analytics Governance Survey, “55% of respondents cited the lack of a standardized, organizationwide approach to governance as the top barrier to value.”

It is clear that data governance is important, and everyone agrees on that. Gartner’s 2021 Data and Analytics Governance survey showed that 73% said their data and analytics governance has moderate or better levels of support from their organization, yet only 40% said their governance is about collaboration instead of control. This clearly limits the data and analytics that are processed as well as limiting who gets the data and how it is delivered. While the oversight and compliance is an essential part of a governance tool, if it is too strict it’s like putting blinders on a horse–you can only go forward in a straight line without any consideration for context.

This may be a reason why data and analytics governance has not had much chance to reach maturity in most enterprises. In fact, from that same Gartner 2021 survey, only 18% of respondents considered their governance mature at enterprise scale. While this is not the only indicator of success, maturity is essential to getting value out of a data and analytics governance tool. The failure of a governance platform to reach maturity in an enterprise can be caused by several things, including a poor fit, incorrect or partial usage, lack of training or resources, lack of policies in place or not updated, and the need for time and manpower outweighing the benefits derived from the tool.

Picking the right tool is important and begins with knowing your needs and goals as well as your current situation. You might begin by considering what tools and platforms you’re using and how you can consolidate disparate technologies into more streamlined solutions, or creating a prioritized list of policy types, goals, and oversight to better match your needs with a tool’s capabilities. It’s also important to pick a solution that works with your industry and will scale with an enterprise as it grows so that the governance tools have a chance to mature and be more fully integrated into data solutions and tools.

Data and analytics governance have not always been a priority; in fact, even four years ago no one was talking much about governance tools or platforms. According to Gartner, “Customer interactions on the matter grew 192% year over year from 2019 to 2020…and the market is expected to reach 30% adoption in 10 years.” Keeping your internal data, as well as customer data, secure while still being able to transform and leverage it is a necessary capability now and in the future. If your data solution does not offer scaling governance and oversight for data throughout the organization, it may be time to consider how much value you’re missing out on.

If you’re ready to discuss thorough governance and oversight as part of a unified modern data solution, get a demo or book your free data mesh consultation today and learn how much more your data can do when everyone can use it securely. For more on data, check out the other articles on Nexla’s blog.

Graphics and survey data sourced from Gartner.com with permission.

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