How to Access, Consume, Use, and Act on Your Government Data to Drive Value
As organizations have accumulated data about their customers, prospects, and transactions, they are under increasing pressure to bring order to the otherwise chaotic world of enterprise data. Much of that pressure comes in the form of government data regulations, prompted by widespread concerns about security and privacy of consumers’ personally identifiable information. Equally important is the drive toward new ways of creating value for the organization, leveraging data as a strategic asset.
How can enterprises govern their data so that it is accessible, usable, and considered as trustworthy throughout the organization by the business users who rely upon it to drive important decisions? How can the same organizations ensure that they are fully compliant with privacy regulations, data sovereignty requirements, and current security standards?
The Enormous Cost of Getting It Wrong
We have seen dramatic increases in cybersecurity attacks in recent years, including breaches of government databases. In 2020, Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) unintentionally disclosed the private emails of tens of thousands of Australian citizens stranded overseas during the height of the COVID pandemic.
That is by no means an isolated incident. In 2015, the US Office of Personnel Management was compromised, exposing the private information of over 21 million people who had undergone federal background checks over the previous 15 years.
Businesses are likewise vulnerable, but their costs can often be considerably higher in terms of reputational damage and financial penalties. British Airways, Citi, and Marriott are among the high-profile global corporations hit with nine-figure fines for lapses in data privacy, security, and governance. In Citi’s case, the total financial penalties were $400 million.
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Fortunately, there is a single approach that addresses both of these concerns. As the global leader in data integrity, Precisely offers a holistic suite of products to support data governance and quality, as well as integration, location intelligence, and data enrichment. To learn more about how you can implement an effective data governance program in your organization, check out Precisely’s free on-demand webinar.
Then there are the costs of lost opportunities associated with a lack of sound data governance. When business users lack the tools and information needed to make clear, data-driven decisions, they are likely to be at a disadvantage relative to the competition.
The Data Governance Mandate
As companies and government agencies seek to innovate and grow via digital transformation, they must be attentive to managing risk and compliance through sound data governance. In this way, they can optimize the value that business users can extract from their data.
For Chief Data Officers, that means managing data assets efficiently and effectively, finding new ways to monetize that information, and democratizing access to data throughout the organization.
Data stewards focus on key tactical concerns such as standardizing terminology, creating processes that inform and enforce data quality, data policies, and data usage.
For business analysts, key concerns generally revolve around capturing clear requirements, understanding what data assets are available, and conforming to a standardized nomenclature.
How Data Governance and Quality Help Deliver Compliance
There are four key elements to the data governance and data quality roadmaps. When all four are in place, government agencies and enterprises are well-positioned to deliver on the promises of growth and innovation as well as risk and compliance.
1. Understand Your Data
The first stage involves connecting and collecting your data. This begins with understanding where all of your data is located and what purpose it serves. The mandate is to discover and catalog all critical data assets, no matter where they are located. Automated data discovery, cataloging, and profiling help to fill in the details, giving you a clear understanding of what you have, where it is located, the purpose it serves, and the potential security and regulatory risks that may be associated with it.
This is also an important opportunity to determine which data assets are most important, as well as to identify opportunities to understand key data relationships across your data landscape, thereby eliminating silos of information.
2. Create Policies and Rules
Effective data governance begins with a common understanding of terminology and expectations. The next step is to clearly document the internal and external data policies associated with governed assets, policies and rules ensure that the organization is equipped to comply with data privacy regulations, data sovereignty requirements and other regulations backed up by a formalized structure that ensures those policies are adhered to meticulously. During this phase, government agencies can also establish a baseline understanding as to the quality of their data. Data quality rules capture potential issues as soon as they arise, ensuring that users throughout the organization can maintain a high level of confidence in the data.
3. Fix Problems As They Occur
Next comes an initial round of data cleansing and consolidation to address data quality issues at a macro level – for example by de-duplicating customers records across a range of different data sources. After fixing known issues, data stewards can demonstrate their progress by presenting data quality scorecards that illustrate the results achieved, built around a set of KPIs determined by internal users within the organization.
4. Continuously Monitor Your Government Data
Enterprise-grade tools also empower your organization to continuously monitor data quality and remediate issues quickly when they occur. Automated workflows provide self-service data stewardship, ensuring that the right people are immediately alerted when action is required to add, edit or correct rules that can improve the quality of data
The best data governance tools can help you map your data lineage, giving you a clear understanding as to the origin and destination of your data. This supports you in meeting ongoing regulatory requirements and in responding to audits.
A Unified Solution for Data Governance and Data Quality
As the challenges of data governance and data quality mount and the stakes grow ever higher, it’s important to get ahead of the risks posed by personally identifiable information and address the pitfalls associated with poor data quality.
Fortunately, there is a single approach that addresses both these concerns. As the global leader in data integrity, Precisely offers a holistic suite of products to support data governance and quality, as well as integration, location intelligence, and data enrichment. To learn more about how you can implement an effective data governance program in your organization or government entity, check out Precisely’s free on-demand webinar, Fueling Enterprise Data Governance with Data Quality.