Steering the ship to Information Governance



In sticking with the theme of data governance, where my previous post stressed the importance of producing quality data to reap the benefits of the many tech trends around today – I wanted to use this post to share some practical insights on how information governance can be achieved or addressed, accurately. Even though governance is becoming a mandatory tick box item for information, there still seems to be a massive gap between acknowledging this and the actual implementation processes to support it. In fact, a recent industry article backs this perception where it highlighted the  results of the 2018 Information Governance Benchmark Study, and noted that 66% of respondents highlight inconsistent collaboration among information stakeholders and a continued reliance on siloed, ad hoc processes for information governance. So given this disparity, what becomes important, if this reality is ever going to change, is ensuring the entire business is ‘singing from the same hymn sheet’, and a culture of creating information governance within the organisation becomes a focus. This of course is stressed in the same article that quotes this research, which I fully support. But practically, what does this actually look like? While the above-mentioned article refers to developing a cross-functional understanding of people, activities and solutions to drive information governance – this does mean understanding several relevant aspects, which need to be addressed or asked by the business, including: People:

  • Each business investor is likely to have their own expectation or need for data and the speed in which it is turned around. Knowing what these expectations are is not only important for the type of analysis required, but the type of governance needed to ensure compliance. Expectation management must play a critical role in the information governance process.
  • Does the business take information governance seriously – and if not, why? Is the broader business being trained on these matters to further its understanding? These aspects must be addressed to build up this governance culture. Effective governance will never be achieved if everyone within the business is not treating governance with the same respect.


  • Given the seriousness of governance today, the business should consider setting KPIs against information governance – and these KPIs should drive the business to achieving its information governance goals.
  • Further to this, it should be a business objective that any new technology investments or business processes that are implemented must be measured against information governance standards – where a business has to provide proof that these standards are being met. If they are not being met, there is no point in making the investment or process addition/change.
  • Data controls around who has access to, and how data is stored and managed, must be a focal point when developing a culture of information governance. Rules must be clearly defined and set for the business – and these should also be linked to the KPIs.


  • When it comes to making technology purchasing decisions, the full business should be involved, including stakeholders, and not just IT. A business culture of information governance will support the right decisions process and ensure these do not hinder the business or waste revenue, but rather promote growth aligned to regulation and compliance for data.
  • It is also critical that the technology solutions a business invests in actually support the people and implementation process for achieving information governance.

Of course, the above pointers are just some of the issues facing those organisations who want to build a business centred around information governance. Developing this kind of culture is one of many steps that need to be taken in working towards effective data governance strategies. And remember, don’t just focus on quality data outputs but compliance within regulation as well – which I have reiterated before – because let’s be honest, it’s a non-negotiable. Developing a plan taking the above into consideration, along with the tips shared in my previous blog post, can put any business on the right path to getting data governance accurate and benefitting strategically from the overall process.

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