Businesses are operating in a technology-driven market causing them to have to deal with a lot of data on a daily basis. Many companies are struggling with the question as to how to turn this data into an asset, and how to identify what is good data and what is unusable. If you are looking for a career in data governance, then you already have an interest in organising data for profit.

What is data governance?

The Data Governance Institute defines data governance as: “the exercise of decision making and authority for data-related matters.”

Basically, data governance defines who does what in data management by firstly determining the activities that must be undertaken to manage data as an asset. Then identifying who in the business is responsible for which data management related activity. And finally determining the accountabilities, responsibilities and decision rights of those people who are taking care of the data.

Why is data governance important?

The benefits of businesses  having a clear data governance framework include:

  • The speeding up of implementation times for projects
  • Robust and sustainable improvements in data quality
  • Increase in value of available data

What are some typical data governance jobs?

Implementing a data governance strategy in an organisation will create need for some data governance experts, and these may include:

  • Data Stewards – to support specific departments in their use of data. They may be business data stewards (responsible for measuring and reporting data quality in a data glossary) or technical data stewards (sometimes called data architects, responsible for the data model and lifecycle across IT systems)
  • Data Owners – responsible for specifying the business requirements on data and data quality
  • Data Operators – responsible for the creation and maintenance of data based on the defined standards
  • Head of Data Management/ Chief Data Officer – responsible for defining data strategy, setting up data governance and managing data steward on a day-to-day basis

What skills and knowledge do you need to work in data governance?

If you are interested in a career in data governance then you should have:

  • A Bachelor or Master’s degree in Business Administration or Information Technology
  • A proven track record of success in database development and administration
  • Thorough experience in MS Office, including Excel, Powerpoint and Word
  • Unix and Windows OS experience
  • Good communication skills to enable you to coordinate data and information between departments
  • Great data analysis skills with knowledge of key analysis tools such as BusinessObjects, Dataflux and ROOT
  • Knowledge of Big Data systems such as SQL and Hadoop
  • Data migration tool knowledge
  • Knowledge of external data regulations

As the business information and information technology worlds continue to collide, big data is where the big money lies. This means that data governance roles will continue to increase in importance as they can help to take the big data and utilise it in a way which will best suit a company’s interests.

If you want to make sure you have the right data governance talent in place or are looking to become a Data Management Consultant or Data Steward, then please get in touch with one of our expert consultants at

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