Where did you store that file with details on last year’s most lucrative client? How many meetings have been interrupted by a coworker with last week’s figures? Remember how that last campaign flopped when your team used dysfunctional processes? We see examples every day of how accurate data and careful data storage affect our work. Data governance is the process of assembling this data from a variety of sources and creating a system or application to manage and oversee its use. Data is the lifeblood of our work, and data governance empowers us to interact with data effectively. Below are five reasons why marketers should care about data governance.
It enables high-quality, actionable insights, right at your fingertips.
One of the core elements of data governance is data hygiene. With proper infrastructure and processes in place, you can be sure that data is both clean and up-to-date, delivering excellent quality whenever you need it.
With high-quality data, comprehensive analysis and actionable insights are well within reach. One strategy for achieving this is through dashboards. Instead of accessing disparate sources, dashboards provide a single source of truth, and give you a better view of the big picture. For example, a dashboard that combines data from your CRM, social and web channels, marketing platform(s), and POS allows you a holistic view of your marketing efforts. This information visibility allows you to improve how you plan and achieve goals, whether they’re internal quarterly goals or massive annual event campaigns.
It helps your teams iterate faster.
When data is stored in multiple places, it must also be maintained and secured in multiple places. Using the data requires comparison and confirmation, and team members may access data and make decisions based on outdated or inaccurate information, which requires discussion with other employees to fix. On the other hand, when teams can confidently rely on a single source of truth, they can proceed straight to well-informed decision-making.
Let’s say it’s the end of Q3 and you and your team are reviewing year-end goals, preparing to optimize in the last quarter. With proper data governance, this process is simple. A dashboard with comprehensive, unified analytics allows you to efficiently measure progress, evaluate KPIs, and quickly identify focus areas. The data serves you—and you can get back to work.
It encourages cross-departmental collaboration.
Believe it or not, data governance is not solely the responsibility of one department. While it may lean heavily on IT staff, successful data integration requires the unification of applications and processes from every team, which in turn requires discussion and understanding of everyone’s behavior and goals.
With a successful system in place, it becomes clear that data governance benefits every department. This single source of truth enables teams to spend time using data instead of cleaning it. The marketing department may more easily work with the user experience team to implement web updates, improving brand perception and CTR. The IT department may be able structure tools to help the management and finance teams evaluate KPI metrics, resulting in more accurate budgeting. When departments can easily support each other, the whole company benefits.
Your customers care about their personally identifiable information (PII).
How would you feel if your data was stolen? Would you trust and continue business with the company or institution that failed to keep your private details safe? Probably not. With the prevalence of digital transactions and information storage, data security is a cornerstone of running a successful business. Good governance ensures that your company stays in charge and informed, and that customer PII isn’t compromised by disorganized business practices.
It enhances overall information security.
With the 2018 implementation of the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), it has become vital for companies to be proactive about information security. GDPR violations can be costly, and data breaches can damage your reputation. Implementing and maintaining good governance allows you to manage data, control access, and recognize and resolve issues swiftly.
Without proper data governance, you put your company at risk of two enormous problems: inefficiency and violation of customer trust. With it, your business comes a well-informed, well-oiled machine. In short, data governance can make or break your bottom line, so it deserves your attention. For more on best practices and steps to successful implementation, click here.
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