Data governance is a system of decision rights, accountabilities and processes aimed at improving the quality, availability, usability and security of an organisation’s data. Data governance sets the rules of engagement for how data-related decisions are made within an organisation through the creation and enforcement of policies, processes, procedures and formalised roles and responsibilities, and structures.
Data governance is as important to an agency as any other corporate, business or IT governance process. It ensures that people who collect, manage and use data understand their responsibilities and see the value it adds to their work, the objectives of the organisation, as well as on agency outcomes. It enables agencies to understand, manage and reduce risks around the data it holds, while extracting the maximum value from it.
When an agency implements the IDMF, it is important to establish robust data governance as a key agency process and responsibility.
The NSW Data Governance Toolkit is a valuable resource designed to assist NSW Government agencies in developing their own data governance capability, and it can be applied to the development of data governance arrangements in an infrastructure data program context.
The Toolkit outlines a Data Governance Model that specifies data governance activities across four tiers:
- Strategy and Planning – agencies need to clearly define the program’s values, vision and mission.
- Organisational Structures, Roles and Responsibilities – agencies need to ensure accountability and decision-making authority for data-related activities are appropriately assigned and formalised.
- Organisational Enablers – agencies need to ensure there is a strong motivation to achieve good governance within an organisation as well as the requisite capabilities, in terms of people and technologies.
- Data Management – agencies need to ensure their data governance program comprises the core data management functions, such as data quality, data security, metadata etc, as outlined in the Data Management Body of Knowledge Guide (DAMA-DMBOK).
The following sections summarise some of the key data governance considerations when establishing a data governance capability in an infrastructure data context. The guidance provided below is to be used in conjunction with the NSW Data Governance Toolkit.
The NSW Data Governance Toolkit defines two classes of organisational enablers:
- Motivation-based enablers – these are critical culture factors comprising:
- Leadership; and
- Data-driven culture.
- Capability-based enablers – these ensure that organisations can take advantage of a strong data culture to achieve good data governance practices, and include:
- Workforce capabilities; and
- Tools and technologies.