Data Governance Challenges & Their Solutions

Every company faces data governance issues at some point. Data visibility, quality, and security are all common and complicated issues. Data governance is frequently mentioned as a possible solution. Furthermore, many industries are becoming increasingly regulated. So what are the challenges in data governance and how to overcome them.
May 18, 2022

There are new solutions to tackle these data governance difficulties fast and effectively. Reduced data governance risks must be the responsibility of someone or a group with power. However, that influencer requires assistance. They should have resources, connectivity and integration tools, and data usage and needs insights. Finally, they require control and authority in order to make data governance decisions. But first, they must comprehend the key data governance concerns that are specific to their business.

A single company can generate a vast amount of data. This means that leaders face both internal and external obstacles. They confront external compliance pressures as well as internal pressures to do more with the data they have. The logistical challenges of gathering, storing, and accessing so much data (from several sources) are numerous. To mention a few, operational, security, and compliance issues occur. Another issue is logistics; a lack of resources can hamper a timely response.

Lack of Dedicated People

Resources are required to mitigate data governance concerns. However funding and personnel for a long-term data governance program are difficult to come by. It means having to compete with other projects and priorities. In addition, ingrained preconceptions can cause problems.

Many executives believe that "IT controls the data." So "data" is their entire realm or obligation. Other teams will have to wait until IT allocates resources to data governance. For one department, this is a lot of pressure! IT does not want to be a bottleneck, and they do not have the resources to "handle all the data."

A compelling case for leadership begins with suffering. Those making the case for data governance should emphasize the financial consequences of its absence. Data governance has a lot of economic value if you have the correct tools. Processes can be sped up using data access governance. Analysts who have fast access to the data they need can save an organization months of labor. If a governance solution can be quantified in terms of cost savings, it can be included in the budget. Leadership may prioritize governance now that it is included in the budget.

How to solve it?

Automation is used in modern data governance to save money. Data governance processes can be made highly cost-effective with the help of automated systems. Machine learning is important because it can improve metadata collecting and categorization speed and accuracy. For effective "hands-free" governance, these elements give context to the data.

A variety of governance tasks can be automated. New business terminology is automatically added to glossaries, ensuring that everyone is on the same page. Users can see the origin and transformation of data thanks to automated governance. Based on data quality and profiling insights, auto-tracked metrics inform governance initiatives.

Modern governance can monitor and surface current usage patterns. This allows executives to see and improve human processes in the context of data. As a result, A better grasp of how data is used leads to a better comprehension of the data itself.

Siloed Data

Every company has siloed data, and they are a constant source of data governance issues. For a variety of reasons, data silos develop. What Causes Data Silos? It can be caused by some conditions like: The rapid collecting of data, Constant technological change, New information sources, DataInfrastructures are changing, Organizational cultures, Internal conflict, and Barriers to communication.

Silos form for a variety of causes. The growth of technology has resulted in a data explosion. Friction and communication problems will only get worse if business cultures do not evolve to meet this challenge. A shift in mindset, as much as a shift in process, may be required to construct a solution. Both are supported by a data catalog. A catalog allows newbies to learn from leaders by making processes transparent. A catalog will consolidate all diverse data onto one platform when users break down silos.

How to solve it?

Data today are self-contained silos centralized repositories that serve a single master. Blockchain, on the other hand, takes the opposite approach: its design is built for a decentralized, democratic, and trusted data exchange environment. The capacity to decentralize a data set across a network of participants provides a transparent, uniform and trusted repository of information and builds the groundwork for future generation platforms where data is held by users, not by centralized entities.

Interoperability, trustless data exchange, transparency, and decentralized/democratic ownership are all key benefits of a blockchain implementation. While opening up a repository directly to relevant stakeholders has a lot of advantages, from deeper analytics to trusted data sharing, there are some real issues that need to be addressed before enterprise blockchain can take off: security, compliance and privacy, data management, data standardization, and data centric. Every business can save money by using a forward-thinking approach to Data Governance and Data Management, which begins with the proper methodology and tools. Companies aiming to develop a sustainable, scalable Data Management approach should start from the ground up with data shareability in mind.

There's No Data Leadership

A few patterns frequently increase data governance issues. One is a lack of strong data leaders. Not everyone is data literate! Leaders may require training on data governance, including the risks it mitigates and the business value it provides.

Second, there are many misconceptions about data. Because every business uses data on a regular basis, it's easy to believe that data is "in good form" and that governance isn't required. Every organization, however, needs data governance. It guarantees that workers find, comprehend, and use the correct facts to make the best decisions possible.

How to solve it? 

The first step is to form a data governance team with the proper structure in place. This should involve a leader who is both knowledgeable and communicative. The chief data officer, or CDO, is a frequent title for this position. This person will be in charge of keeping the leadership informed. They'll explain why data governance is important and keep stakeholders updated.

The CDO requires a strong staff. Project managers, who are in charge of data governance efforts, are direct reports. Strong communicators may also be called upon. These people will explain to data consumers the most important aspects of data. They can assist in the training of teams on new procedures. Finally, they may present data governance progress to the organization's key decision makers.

It is impossible to overstate the value of good communication with decision makers. Data governance affects every job in the organization differently. High-level metrics will pique the interest of executive leadership. They're looking for a response to a crucial question: what business value would data governance provide? At the point of access, business users and data analysts require governance guidelines. Tools to achieve enterprise-wide compliance are desired by data governance roles. A data catalog, it turns out, can meet all of these requirements.

Lack of Data Resources

The context influences data governance challenges. What are the company's objectives? What rules apply to the industry? Such facts lead to governance priorities. Data governance issues should not be overlooked. Compliance difficulties, for example, could result in regulatory fines. A data breach could occur as a result of security risks. Furthermore, improper business usage may result in bad decisions and resource waste.

"Metadata" refers to information about information. How frequently is it used? Who has access? What does it contain? Is PII (personally identifiable information) included? Each of these queries is answered by metadata. Metadata offers vital context surrounding data for other users in this way. It explains who and how a dataset is used. It can even highlight areas of noncompliance, such as if an employee isn't following the rules.

Metadata is crucial for data governance in this way. Indeed, such data consumption insights give crucial context for data governance. Popularity and usage indicators in data catalogs provide that information. Consumers of data can have in-line discussions regarding the data they are using.

How to solve it?

A data catalog could also house wiki-style entries where users can document data details. These articles serve as a live document, detailing the history and applications of a specific item. Is it outdated? Is it practical? The concepts that drive a data's use are frequently what make it valuable to future consumers. These are crucial details to keep track of and share.

Data catalogs use feedback to identify potential dangers, and tribal knowledge to record wisdom in this way. When catalogs detect a governance process in progress, they alert users in real time. They can even help with compliance by hiding sensitive, classified, or private information from anyone without the proper credentials.

Lack of Data Control

Data governance has become a prevalent problem due to a lack of data control. Noncompliance is when persons process data illegally due to a lack of control. Remember, there are rigorous laws in place! Personal, healthcare, payment, and other sensitive data are all subject to strict regulations. GDPR, HIPAA, PCI-DSS, and the CCPA all require responsible data usage. Consumers who break these laws face steep penalties. However, processes change frequently, and changing people's behavior at the same time is difficult.

Governance risks are exacerbated by big data challenges. When you're drowning in data, it's easy to lose control. Data difficulties involving diversity, validity, and volume abound these days. Each "V" may, in fact, have its own data governance difficulties. Variety muddles genealogy and makes it difficult to monitor transformation. Data is tough to check because of its veracity. Finding the relevant data is tough due to the sheer volume. A data catalog separates the wheat from the chaff. It aids compliance by assisting workers in locating, evaluating, and comprehending data.

How to solve it?

Data governance experts create solid data governance systems that safeguard and regulate data use. They accomplish this by designing and implementing a solid data governance framework that takes into account data architecture, data design and modeling, data security, data storage and management, data warehousing and BI (business intelligence), and data quality. This framework is used to create a data governance plan that guides data asset collection, administration, archiving, and use.

Risk minimization, internal data use procedures, compliance standards, data value enhancement, and disaster recovery planning are among aims that data governance professionals define. They collaborate closely with stakeholders to document these objectives, as well as the associated rewards and risks, in a project plan that they then implement. To stay up with changing business needs, data governance specialists also proactively monitor, assess, and update data governance policies and procedures.


Each company will face unique data governance problems. The data governance team's framework will be defined by these problems, as well as the company's goals. It is critical to collaborate with CEOs, leadership, and stakeholders. This ensures that data governance risks continue to receive widespread support and attention. Today, we tend to build incrementally around the challenge of data silos, establishing webs of APIs to turn data back into an useable asset, and adding large data lakes to consolidate repositories.

Despite the strategic importance of data, many companies have been slow to develop data governance and accountability structures, which could allow for a more coordinated and successful data use. As a result, there is a greater risk of regulatory fines or poor decision-making, which can result in misallocation of essential resources or missed commercial opportunities, such as exploiting the data capabilities of new digital technologies.

Dismantling data silos requires introducing innovations at the data tier, which means changing how data is managed and questioning its current infrastructure. A data catalog provides a critical "bird's-eye view" of all data in an organization. Data catalogs collect metadata and integrate it with data management, collaboration, and search capabilities to make it easier for data users to discover and use the information they need. A data catalog addresses the most pressing data governance issues by providing a quick and effective way to integrate siloed data, empower governance leaders, inform governance activities, and control data for compliance.

Adapted from: Alation

Written by Denny Fardian
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