2013 Trends in Data Governance

DG Baseby Paul Williams

The practice of Data Governance continues to grow in relevance as data becomes more important to the enterprise, especially in this age of Big Data and Cloud Computing. Expect this trend to persist in 2013, as companies, worried about compliance issues and/or interested in improving business efficiencies, look towards governance and related disciplines like Data Stewardship to help get a handle on their organization’s investment in data.

This article looks at product offerings and vendors poised to make an impact in the world of Data Governance throughout the upcoming year.

Embarcadero Rolls Out New Data Governance Platform

On January 22nd, database management tool vendor, Embarcadero Technologies announced a new strategic platform for Data Governance centered on the management of metadata. Additionally, the company released the latest version of their ER/Studio XE 3 modeling tool which helps organizations with the implementation of Embarcadero’s new Data Governance initiative.

Like many other vendors in the Data Governance space, Embarcadero feels that the practical implementation of strong metadata management is a vital aspect of any Data Governance practice. Metadata, in many ways, bridges the disparate business and technical worlds within an enterprise, helping to foster the necessary collaboration to ensure successful business processes.

In addition to ER/Studio XE 3, Embarcadero’s Data Governance platform includes the use of two other “Governance Enabled” tools: RAD Studio, a cross-platform development tool for data-driven client applications, and DB PowerStudio X3, a database management environment that works with most popular DBMS platforms, including SQL Server, Oracle, and DB2.

The new release of ER/Studio XE 3 provides the necessary tools allowing data modelers to share database models and metadata with the business teams embedded across the enterprise. Interesting features like “Where Used” analysis and visual data lineage make it easier for teams to implement a Data Governance platform.

Adaptive Looking Forward to EDW 2013

As a Platinum Sponsor for this April’s Enterprise Data World 2013 conference in San Diego, Adaptive is looking forward to this Data Management industry event, where ideas on Data Governance and many other data-related disciplines are shared and exchanged.

The principles covered in Adaptive’s EDW 2012 presentation on operationalizing the practice of Data Governance, given with CapGemini’s Jojy Mathew, are detailed in the following DATAVERSITY™ article. Any company looking to implement Data Governance needs to heed these concepts, lest they run the risk of regulatory compliance issues or a poorly implemented practice.

Adaptive’s product line includes a variety of products, especially Metadata Manager and Enterprise Architecture Manager, which make up the backbone of a Data Governance program. Their tools provide dashboard interface reporting and collaborative functionality to help make governance succeed.

Data Governance Remains Vital for Financial Enterprises

Steve Sarsfield, a data quality evangelist who works for Talend, published in January a list of the four top reasons that financial organizations need to implement some form of Data Governance. Given the added attention now paid to banks, brokerage firms, and other finance companies in the wake of the recent economic downturn, expect Data Governance in the financial sector to be a continuing trend throughout 2013.

Sarsfield feels accurate risk assessment is important for financial services firms in the heightened regulatory environment after Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd-Frank congressional acts. Data Governance helps this process by improving the quality in the underlying data used for the assessment.

Better data quality through proper governance also factors into Sarsfield’s second reason: Process Efficiency. Improved data quality means less time spent on checking the efficacy of reporting and more time spent on running the business. This also applies to enterprises outside the financial sector.

Data Governance also enhances the analytical weaponry needed to fight money laundering, Sarsfield’s third reason. The improved data quality achieved through governance helps to identify instances of laundering lurking within a firm’s financial records.

Finally, Sarsfield’s fourth point also relates closely to improved process efficiency. Financial enterprises generally are in business to earn money for shareholders; a focus on Data Governance improves efficiencies and thus has a favorable impact on that company’s revenue. There is little doubt that Data Governance helps to improve many aspects of how financial enterprises do business; something these firms need to embrace in 2013 and beyond.

Informatica Sponsoring GovernYourData.com

A vendor neutral website for the Data Governance community, GovernYourData.com, launched earlier in January. If the website achieves its promise, this looks to be something for Data Management professionals to watch in 2013.

Sponsored and hosted by the data software vendor, Informatica, GovernYourData provides an array of useful information for those interested in Data Governance, including peer to peer discussions, resources, blogs, and event listings.  Informatica hopes the website attracts contributors from Data Governance practitioners, thought leaders, evangelists, and vendors.

Two tools provided by the site appear useful for companies looking to dip their toes in the Data Governance waters, or those with a practice already in place. The Business Opportunity Prioritization Assessment tool includes a framework for a governance practice initiative as well as providing a suggested budget for governance-related outlays. Additionally, a Data Governance Maturity Assessment tool helps to track the efficacy of a firm’s existing Data Governance initiative.

Informatica’s Vice President of Product Strategy, Rob Karel, sums up the hopes for GovernYourData:

“So many data governance initiatives fail because they are over-scoped and overly dependent on expensive consulting services just to get started and build necessary momentum. By enabling peer-to-peer engagement and free access to practical tools, resources and expert advice, GovernYourData.com will help enterprises take a more pragmatic and ultimately more successful approach to data governance enterprise wide.”

Information Asset Releases Data Governance Industry Content Packs

Information Asset LLC, founded by DATAVERSITY contributor Sunil Soares, announced in January a set of content packs aimed at improving the implementation of Data Governance programs at enterprises. Soares commented on these content packs:

“Most data governance programs deal with best practices in a cross-industry manner. However, data governance in retail is completely different from data governance in insurance. Our approach will help organizations derive maximum value from their data governance initiatives in a timely manner without reinventing the wheel.”

The content packs include a collection of sample artifacts fine-tuned by industry. These samples cover a wide range of the things needed to incubate a Data Governance program, including a Data Governance charter, data quality metrics, a collection of business cases, Data Governance policies mapped to business processes, and analyses of Big Data considerations with governance. A full list is available at the Information Asset website.

In addition to companies implementing their own governance practice, the artifacts also hold value to consultancies specializing in Data Governance as well as training providers. Also included are specialized business process mappings tailored to IBM’s Business Process Manager Express and InfoSphere products.

Pre-built health and financial industry artifacts also exist for the Collibra Business Semantic Glossary product. Collibra’s co-Founder and CEO, Felix Van de Maele, stresses the efficiencies earned through the use of these content packs:

“Data governance needs programs which can benefit from an industry-oriented approach. By leveraging Information Asset’s pre-built artifacts in Collibra’s ‘Business Semantics Glossary,’ enterprises can reduce the time to value for their data governance programs by 50 percent.”

ZL Technologies Set to Announce Expanded Data Governance Capability

ZL Technologies is known for their products used to manage Big Data and unstructured information. The IBM Connect 2013 conference later in January is where the company is slated to announce added information governance functionality to their ZL Unified Archive product.

Unified Archive provides compliance, archiving, e-discovery, and records management functionality for large enterprises. The product features compatibility with a wide range of IBM offerings, including Lotus Notes, Domino, SameTime, and DB2. Its scalability factor handles datasets in the range of billions of documents.

Among the new features to be announced this month include mass scale data migration functionality between Microsoft Exchange and Lotus Notes or Domino, supporting an array of third-party archiving formats. Improved records management, support of DoD-5015 certification, and intelligent policy-based Cloud options enhance the use of the Unified Archive as part of a Data Governance practice.

2013 looks to be a year where Data Governance becomes an important part of any enterprise’s information technology toolkit. It helps organizations improve business efficiencies as well as maintain regulatory compliance where necessary.

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