The importance of Data Governance

Data describes the facts and figures that a company processes, it only becomes valuable information after it has been processed to add relevance. Data governance is the overall management of information available, it provides context for using the correct data, defines policies and standards for the proper use of data, and ensures that data management is aligned to the strategy of the entity concerned. It is important to develop a policy that specifies who is accountable for the various portions of data within a business and how accurate it is. A set standard and procedure must be followed, so as to ensure ongoing compliance with governance regulations.

Previously, data was managed solely by technologists. However, business intelligence is fast advancing, key decision makers are now required to have sufficient and accurate business data to make logical and profitable decisions. The interpretation of business assets, liabilities and equity is key information to a prolific business. A Data Governance programme is designed to shape the corporate philosophy of data acquisition, management and archiving. Business advances now require both business and IT components of the business to syndicate in order to define data elements. New data-orientated business functions and roles will emerge, and this should present accountants with a good opportunity, as they are well placed to fulfill some of these functions and roles.

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