What is Data Governance?

In this episode of “Talk Tech with Data Dave,” live from the DGIQ conference in Washington, DC, Alexis and Data Dave dive into the fundamental question: “What is Data Governance?” The hosts share insights from industry experts, including perspectives from Suganthi Senthil of O’Reilly Media, Mindy Becker of Right Triangle Consulting, and Bill Tanenbaum of Moses and Singer. Each expert provides unique definitions, emphasizing the importance of trusted data, the role of policies and procedures, and the discipline required for effective data management. This episode offers a comprehensive exploration of data governance, highlighting its critical role in ensuring that data serves its intended purpose in various organizational contexts.

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December 12, 2023




Hi everyone, welcome to Talk Tech with Data Dave, I’m Alexis, your host of Talk Tech with Data Dave, and I’m here, live at DGIQ in Washigton, DC. Hey, Dave.

Data Dave
Hi Alexis, how are you?

I’m good. I’m good. Ohh my gosh, it’s been amazing here. Like, DATAVERSITY does such a great job at these conferences.

Data Dave
Excellent, good. Yes, they do. They really do. It’s just such a great time.

But as, well, as we didn’t tell everybody, but we know we are trying to get the answer to the burning question of “What is Data Governance?” So Dave, I’m going to ask you. What is data governance?

Data Dave
That’s a really good question. I hope we’ve got lots of interesting answers so far. To me, data governance is the process of managing data for delivering a purpose. So, the data has to have a purpose, and the governance, the governing of that data, is the process of managing that data to satisfy that purpose. So there has to be a purpose. There has to be the data, and there has to be the process of that management. So, we’re governing the data for it.

I love that, but we are here at DGIQ with a whole bunch of experts. So, I say we ask some of them. What do you think?

Data Dave
I think we should. I think we should make it our mission to find out a good number of different definitions.

Hopefully, we’ll find a good answer.

Data Dave
Yes, absolutely.

So let’s talk to some.

Suganthi Senthil
Hello. I’m Suganthi Senthil from O’Reilly Media. VP of data. So, what does data governance mean to me? Data governance is about making sure trusted data is made available to the right person at the right time so they can make the right decisions and be better.

Mindy Becker
I’m Mindy Becker, and I’m the Associate Director of Data Governance at Right Triangle Consulting. What data governance means to me. Is the way that you ensure that you’re using the most valuable asset: your data. We want to make sure that your business leaders are making the best decisions with trusted information, and we do that by using the four Ps  People. Policy. Procedures. And Product. Through that, Right Triangle, is giving the right information to the right person at the right time. We would do that with dated evidence.

Bill Tanenbaum
I’m a partner with the law firm of Moses and Singer in New York, and I lead the data and AI practice. We focus on data as a business asset, and AI is a potential source of liability.

Mark LaRocque
Hi! We have this definition of data governance. It’s a set of processes and organization that allows you to maximize the value of your data.

Evan Lewis
Hey, my name’s Evan Lewis. I’m a Data Governance Analyst with D3Clarity, and what is data governance to me? I think data government really boils down to managing your assets to create value for your company.

Jimm Johnson
Hi. I’m Jimm Johnson. I am the Senior Data Governance Manager with HigherRight and data governance is really in its simplified essence a decision making framework for all of data management.

Adrian Hamouda
My name is Adrian Hamouda. I work at Highmark Health and data governance is managing data, the lineage, the quality and ensuring correct access.

Alex Kangoun
Alex Kangoun. I’m from Athena Solutions, a Boston-based consulting company specializing in business intelligence and data governance.

So Alex, what is data governance?

Alex Kangoun
For me, data governance, I think first thing it’s about the discipline. Discipline about fixing your data. Discipline, understanding your business ventures. Your discipline about understanding your data and listening. Listening to how the data can make an impact on the business.

Mike Towers
I’m Michael Towers with Tomorrow’s Event.

What is data governance?

Mike Towers
I think data governance is important because we have data and it’s important that the right data gets out. Someone needs to be in charge of that and I’m just grateful that there is somebody that is. I’m glad to be here to support the show.

Deevya Naresh Kumar
I’m Deevya and I’ve been working in the data governance space for close to 5 1/2 years now. Previously also worked in lot of other data roles. So what if data governance? I think there are different definitions. If you Google, you’ll get close to 20/25 definitions for data governance. But according to me it is about the best practices. How do we implement the best practices for data management? How do we make sure everyone in an organization does the same thing and the right things with respect to managing our data.

Darren Dang
Hello. My name is Darren Dang. I’m with the Orange County Superior Courts. I’m the finance guy there, and I’m answering the question. What is data governance in 20 seconds. My definition of data governance is creating set of policies, procedures, and rules, and business practices to maximize value in an organization and that involves a lot of different things. All the way from people, process and technology. Setting the right policies, training the people to make sure that we get the right data. But most importantly, answering the right business questions. And so it all starts with figuring out what is the best business question at different organizations. For us, we’re in public sector and courts, so it’s about maximizing service and providing timely resolution. So it involves around managing case loads and making sure that there is fairness and equity, so it involves also protecting data so having all the wrap around policies and procedures to accelerate that process is really important.

Karen Akens
Hi, I’m Karen Akens from Merakata out of Richmond, VA, and my definition of data governance is not singular. I view data governance in a contextual space, so it’s all dependent on what your situation is and what you need to put the controls in place to have good quality, accessible data for your enterprise.

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