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Data Governance

Modern data governance is a strategic, ongoing and collaborative practice that enables organizations to discover and track their data, understand what it means within a business context, and maximize its security, quality and value. While digital transformation and other data-driven initiatives are desired outcomes, few organizations know what data they have or where it is, and they struggle to integrate known data in various formats and numerous systems – especially if they don’t have a way to automate those processes. But when IT-driven data management and business-oriented data governance work together in terms of both personnel, processes and technology, decisions can be made and their impacts determined based on a full inventory of reliable information.
Data Governance

erwin named a leader in the Gartner 2020 Magic Quadrant
for Metadata Management Solutions

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 owners – or stewards – of enterprise data, formal processes for managing it through the 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. 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. Data keepers – IT – and data users – the rest of the organization – must be able to discover, understand and use 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 only by the right people 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, including where it lives, who and what systems use it, and how to access and manage it. 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 noncompliance 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.

Why trust erwin for your data governance program?

Why trust erwin for your data governance program?

We’ve been doing data for more than 30 years. No other vendor can give you an edge, as in the erwin EDGE, an “enterprise data governance experience” for strategic IT and business collaboration. The erwin Data Intelligence Suite by Quest is the heart of the erwin EDGE, providing data catalog, data literacy and automation capabilities so all enterprise stakeholders can discover, understand, govern and socialize data assets.

No other vendor can automatically harvest, transform and feed metadata from a wide array of data sources, operational processes, business applications and data models into a central data catalog and then make it accessible and understandable via role-based, contextual views.

With the broadest set of metadata connectors, erwin combines data management and data governance processes to fuel an automated, real-time, high-quality data pipeline. By tapping into that fountain of information, you’ll have the context, insights and mechanisms for effective and sustainable data governance. By doing the hard stuff for you, erwin Data Intelligence ensures your data governance efforts yield real value.

Get started now

Make data governance an enterprise experience, so all stakeholders know what they need to know to produce results. Being able to harness and activate your metadata with erwin Data Intelligence is the first step.