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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ACCA South Africa Welcomes New Market Head

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Pat Semenya was recently appointed the new Market Head of South Africa for the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). Taking on a role that demands extraordinary attention to detail, Pat Semenya has the right mix of finance experience, starting off her career as an Audit Intern at KPMG, and Management Skills experience in both Government and the FMCGs sector. Pat Semenya’s attention to detail and ability to drive any team to success ensures the ACCA brand will be looked after.

Pat is a great asset! Her capacity to identify issues and opportunities, envision paths of action, visualize objectives and results while executing them end-to-end and adapting her strategies when required, factually endorse her potential.”Christian Mur, SR Strategic Business Developer, Nestlé

Classroom Success in a Corporate World

Raised by teachers, Pat builds her career on the value of leaving a legacy through education. The importance of passing down sound and adequate information to the next generation of professionals is high on Pat’s agenda. Pat draws on her success as skills learnt in the accountancy field, along with the lessons learnt from being a parent, business woman and wife.

Her first strides into the finance sector started at the University of Johannesburg where she studied Financial Information Systems (FIS). Pat then went on to further her studies at Regenesys to acquire her Post-Graduate Diploma in Business Management, and she is currently pursuing her MBA  at the same institution.

“Education opens up your mind to possibilities that were foreign and it offers opportunities to contribute in platforms that only a few have access to.” – Pat Semenya

Juggling parenthood with Pat’s work commitments has created a unique leadership skill. Pat often reflects on the importance of culture as well going beyond the boardroom for inspiration. “Over the years, I’ve learned to look beyond the boardroom and as a parent, I learn every day, I look at the patterns of my children and I see lessons pertinent in business: persistence, vision, planning and strategy.”– Pat Semenya

People Leave Managers not Companies

Business is all about people, employees are not just machines, so making time for each employee working with the team to increase corporate values and results, is a major priority not only for ACCA but for all companies within the financial sector.  People buy into the vision when they see their contribution to the value chain.

ACCA South Africa – Think Ahead  through engagement

Through Pat’s leadership, ACCA South Africa will embark on creating a brand that engages with members, students and public in general on equal level and become a source that they can draw from in order to grow and become better professionals. Pat’s long term goal would be for ACCA South Africa to have contributed to the strength of the finance sector, through the education of aspiring young accounting professionals and using their skill resource to contribute to the economic transformation in our country.

According to Pat, the finance sector is evolving; the next leader generation brings colour and energy. The focus should be on extracting the most value from them and not dimming their light to suit a misconception.

With high unemployment and skills shortage in the finance sector, Pat Semenya has entered the perfect storm. However with Pats dynamic individuality and commercial focus, success is eminent.