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Data Governance

Modern data governance enables organizations to know their data, understand its meaning within a business context, maximize its data quality and security, and fuel the data literacy and governed data accessibility needed to best leverage its value. Digital transformation and other data-driven initiatives depend on the strength of data governance. But many organizations lack the enterprise data visibility, data governance efficiencies, and data user engagement and self-service to make modern data governance truly achievable. Data governance software can provide you with the needed capabilities and automation to change that.
Data Governance
Discover why erwin Data Intelligence is a 2023 Data Governance Solutions Spark Matrix Leader
What is Data Governance?

What is data governance?

Data governance refers to how an organization creates, collects, retains and uses data. An organization with a well-implemented data governance practice will have identified data owners and data stewards of enterprise data, formal processes for managing data through its lifecycle, and a governing body for enforcing and ensuring compliance with those processes. So, in essence, data governance explains an organization’s philosophy on information collection, use and management. This is a big job that literally grows every day, given the amount of data in the expanding digital universe.

Data governance is continuing to evolve in its definition as enterprises further understand the potential of data for their organizations. While regulatory compliance and a focus on data protection and risk management traditionally has been at the heart of data governance, the focus of today’s data governance teams has expanded to include improving data quality, raising data literacy and enabling governed data self-service. Learn more about our definition of data governance.

Why data governance is important but challenging

Until recently, data governance was primarily an IT role that involved cataloging data elements to support search and discovery. But in this digital age, data and its governance is everyone’s business. Everyone, from IT to data governance teams to each data user, must be able to easily find, understand and use high-value data to drive opportunities while limiting risks. Think of it this way: the right data of the right quality, regardless of where it is stored or what format it is stored in, must be available for use by the right people at the right time for the right purpose. Making this imperative a reality requires an ongoing strategic effort, enterprise collaboration and enabling technology that provides a holistic view of the data landscape in tandem with the business context, governance guidance and self-service capabilities to ensure data is available and understood at the time it is needed. Data governance is very necessary but also complicated, so most enterprises have difficulty operationalizing it.

Drivers & benefits of enterprise data governance

Enterprises in different sectors have contended with such regulations as HIPAA, SOX and PCI-DSS for several years. But passage of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and its stringent penalties for non-compliance thrust data governance into the spotlight, forcing most organizations to re-evaluate their approaches and tooling. While progress has been made, enterprises are still grappling with the challenges of deploying comprehensive and sustainable data governance, including reliance on mostly manual processes for data cataloging, data lineage and data mapping. However, organizations that recognize data as an enterprise asset that can be controlled and yield long-term value are realizing a lot of benefits:

Regulatory compliance

Respond to audits and demonstrate compliance with data regulations through proper reporting and documentation, including lineage.

Operational efficiency

Streamline day-to-day operations by implementing improvements, eliminating redundancies and providing optimal employee training and communications.

Revenue growth

Uncover ways to reduce expenses, create new revenue streams and even monetize your data.

Privacy & security

Strengthen data privacy and security procedures and adherence to those standards, as well as identify and tag sensitive data elements.

Accurate analytics

Be able to take advantage of data analytics tools and ensure the validity of those dashboards because the underlying data is accurate.

Data literacy

Ensure consistent data standards and definitions so enterprise stakeholders are data literate, fluent in how your organization defines and talks about it.

Data quality

Reduce errors and/or find and remediate them quickly to ensure data users can trust the information on which their analyses are based.

Improved decision-making

Provide controlled access and visibility to a single version of data truth, making it easy to quickly assess information and decide how to act on it.


Develop new products and services or improve existing ones, as well as modernize business, technology and data infrastructures.

Customer satisfaction & trust

Deliver efficient, personalized and relevant customer experiences that establish trust and build loyalty.

Reputation management

Protect your data assets and be transparent about how you use them so you can avoid data breaches and other missteps.

Governed data accessibility

Ensure all data users have access to high-value, trusted data at the time they need it to act.
Petco champions data governance and data literacy with erwin

Why trust erwin for your data governance program?

Why trust erwin for your data governance program?

Leading organizations worldwide rely on erwin Data Intelligence by Quest to provide the data catalog, data literacy, data quality, data marketplace and automation capabilities needed to make data governance truly achievable. erwin Data Intelligence brings IT, data governance teams and business users together to discover, understand, govern and share data assets, so that enterprises know how to best use and protect their data to the greatest advantage.

erwin Data Intelligence provides the customizable governance framework and out-of-the-box glossaries and templates, backed by a knowledgeable team of experts, to help organizations quickly stand-up data governance programs. Market-leading data catalog automation capabilities for metadata-harvesting, data mapping, data lineage, impact analysis, data quality and sensitive data identification make full enterprise data visibility achievable. Data governance teams have the needed business glossary management and data stewardship automation to effectively assign business meaning to data and drive data governance forward. And all stakeholders have the self-service data discovery, literacy, marketplace and collaboration capabilities to truly be a part of a data-driven culture.

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Make data governance an enterprise experience, so all in your organization can find, understand and best put your data to use. See how erwin Data Intelligence can help.