Data Governance platforms: Bottom-up or Top-Down?

Data Governance is not new. Data Governance has been a challenge that large organizations have been tackling especially those in highly regulated industries like Finance and Healthcare.

The focus was more to ensure data was centralized (usually the EDWs that fed several regulatory reports), of good quality and secure so that only authorized people could access it. And this was completely IT-driven with Business giving only the high-level requirements.

With IT being the traditional owners of the enterprise data platforms, in order to govern the data across these platform, metadata or context about this data was critical to be captured. What data is residing in which of the platforms, who is the owner of the data, what are the access privileges to this data especially to elements that are PII for example. The best source for this metadata is of course the platform it is residing on.

So the data platform vendors started offering Data Governance functions that cater to these users – providing impact analysis reports, technical lineage based on technical metadata – more of what I call a ‘Bottom-up’ Data Governance  and the ‘Bottom-up’ Data governance platforms. Business users were only expected to primarily manage a Business Glossary.

Things are fast changing. Businesses are fast realizing that data is their key differentiator and are getting hands-on with data. Their data needs are much more than what is limited to the EDWs and Data Marts confined to the organization. This is prompting them to understand the data and its context more than ever before.

The Data Governance platforms are transforming themselves to provide a ‘Top-Down’ view of data to the Business and keeping the Business in the driver’s seat.  Going beyond just Business Glossaries and Technical metadata, they are offering functions to catalog the data, manage business rules and policies to ensure the data can be trusted and provide mechanisms to support collaboration and workflows to govern the data. With templates and accelerators providing support for regulatory compliance requirements such as CCAR, BCBS239, GDPR and so on,  these platforms are engaging the Business users in the right way.

One of the leading Data Governance platform offering such a ‘Top-Down’ approach to Data Governance is Collibra Data Governance Center.  It offers all the functions that are needed to ‘Find’, ‘Understand’ and ‘Trust’  the data thereby setting up a strong foundation for Business-driven Data Governance in the organization.

About the Author: Anand Govindarajan

Anand Govindarajan