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What is information governance?

Information Governance

Most business managers understand the importance of having proper controls over the information which comes into their possession. However, not many are able to create that perfect balance which is needed between proper utilization of this information and security of the information. Information governance (IG) is a collection of measures that a company or business is supposed to take to make sure that there is legal compliance, operational transparency, and cost saving when it comes to processes such as legal discovery. Here is what you as a business owner need to know about IG and how adopting the right governance strategy can help you achieve your business objectives.

Establishing safe and secure data

The first reason why you need to have an IG strategy is that it is the first simple and natural measure which a business can take to secure their data. When you have a robust governance strategy, you will ensure that all the information that goes through your system is handled in a manner which enhances its reliability, security, accessibility, and quality. When establishing an information governance strategy, there will be rules, standards, responsibilities, and regulations which apply to everyone that works for the organization or with the organization.

Fast and easy access to BI Data

The ability to access important business intelligence data can be the difference between successful marketing campaigns and total flops. When the data is easily accessible to all authorized users, they will be in a position to make informed decisions which will work to the advantage of your business. On the other hand, when there is no sound information governance system at hand, it will be chaotic to try and locate the person who is supposed to authorize access to certain data, which will delay decision-making processes and if you have competitors who can access such information more easily than you, you might as well be giving them dominance over your brand.

Improvement of data sharing, and collaboration

A company that has a sound information governance strategy has clear set roles and responsibilities for all levels of data management. This means that if a certain employee wants to access a certain type of data, they will know exactly where to go for this information. The person in charge will also know the clearances needed to give access to the said data. The result will be a workforce that is not too bureaucratic and one where workers are able to work with each other instead of against each other to achieve a common goal.

Effective risk management

There is a lot that can go wrong if important business data was to be mishandled. Most importantly, it is essential to note that the society that exists today is extremely litigious and if anything happened and compromised the security of their information, they would sue you or your business for exposing them to the risk. When you have an IG system in place, it is less likely that important information will fall in the wrong hands and in the off chance that it does, there will be a clear indication as to who dropped the ball, which will simplify the process of mitigating the breach. When the IG system is handled properly, employees will also have an easier time accessing the data which they need for their day to day operations, which will ultimately improve productivity. By the end of the day, this will reduce business costs for you while at the same time increasing the bottom line.

Those are the main reasons why you need to think about establishing an information governance system for your business. The process that you can follow when establishing an IG system involves:

  • Identifying the data type and volume that your organization handles
  • Classifying the data according to the risk associated with it, for instance, priority in management should be given to customer information, financial data and sales data.
  • Selecting people that have integrity to handle data governance
  • Setting up the rules and regulations of information governance.
  • The last and the most important of the steps is adopting the information governance system. When you hire new employees always sensitize them about your policy and have a document which they can sign to show that they will comply with the guidelines. Reducing the risks of data loss is the best data recovery strategy of them all!

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