What Good is Data without Data Governance?



Without accurate and sustainable data governance policies set in place, an organization’s data is deemed essentially useless. The significance behind the architecture of data—rendering it compatible for users and set to regulation standards—cannot be stressed enough. This 2017 Research Report for the SAP Utilities Conferences outlines the steps necessary to ensure a successful and reliable data governance program.



From the report produced by SAP & Eventful Conferences, this graphics reiterates that data is the biggest pain point shared with utilities across the country. From data governance to reporting & analytics, utility organizations have a rapidly increasing amount of data and are looking for answers on how to best use it.

Governance is an essential component to an organization’s data and analytics strategy in order to ensure corporate integrity, business security, and consumer usability. It is also the key to successful decision-making to guarantee longevity and prosperity. In addition, as the volume of data continues to increase, the importance of legal or compliant regulation will directly grow as well. So, where does an organization begin?

“Figuring out how to manage those data could hold the key to new revenue streams and improved grid operation, if utilities can find software tools to integrate multiple grid technologies and handle ever-escalating quantities of information.” Utilities Dive, No time to think: How utilities are handling the deluge of grid data


  • Establish validation through every channel to make sure master data remains representative
  • Understand regulatory requirements to protect customer data information
  • Identify ownership for data in the organization and set up the proper controls
  • Design nomenclature consistency across all areas of the business
  • Develop best practices for profiling data & provide proper training for end users
  • Create alignment in data governance policies across various 3rd party applications (i.e. cloud based solutions, etc.)
  • Decide on the accessibility of data between different areas of the business
  • Focus on the architecture of your data to improve overall business
  • Form records management policy that is also compliant with regulatory requirements

Understanding how to structure the entirety of your data governance program is critical yet mammoth in nature. As explained by Scott Gnau, the Chief Technology Officer at Hortonworks “Compare and contrast the old world of traditional governance in the data space; it was a little bit easier. Data used to be well-defined by job role or application. . . It’s driving a whole new paradigm in how you need to approach governance.” However, in the end, if you are able to create an infrastructure that is scalable and secure, you’ll have a unified data architecture that will emulate trust and accountability throughout your enterprise.

IBM Big Data & Analytics Hub showcases the differences an organization’s confidence level in their data makes for smarter decision making.

If your utility organization could benefit from a data governance strategy, or you’re looking to further secure your current program, attend this year’s SAP for Utilities September 10 -12 held in Huntington Beach, California. The security of your data and trust within your stakeholders will only grow stronger as you continue your journey to building a solid data governance structure.

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