As we noted in our last post, organizations must have effective data governance processes in order to organize, analyze and efficiently use the vast amounts of data they are collecting. Yet most organizations struggle to implement such processes — a Gartner study found that more than 90 percent of all data governance initiatives fail.
It is often a problem of changing perceptions. For decades, governance programs were largely designed to tightly control data access for compliance with various government and industry regulations that stipulate how data should be collected, shared and used. The governance end-game has shifted in recent years, however. Today’s efforts must strike a balance between restricting access for compliance and making it easier for business users to access the data they need to do their jobs.
Many characteristics of traditional governance programs remain critical. As always, governance should help organizations identify what data they have, where it resides and its operational value. Discovery, classification and retention tools create a comprehensive data inventory and use metadata attributes to classify data based on use case and value to the organization. Less valuable data can be moved off primary storage tiers to reduce storage costs and improve overall efficiency.
The Security Conundrum
Governance programs also outline specific security measures based on data classification, establishing controls on who can access data and what they can do with it. Here’s where data management experts say organizations must rethink their processes.
Until recently, organizations focused almost exclusively on restricting data access. Identity and access management, multifactor authentication, secure remote access, risk-based/adaptive security and granular password management tools were implemented to ensure users could access only narrow slices of business data.
While these protections are obviously essential, there is a downside. Eighty-four percent of data management professionals surveyed by 451 Research said privacy, security and governance requirements prevent timely access to important business data. Most agreed that data is usually stale or out-of-date by the time it is analyzed and used.
That creates an obvious conundrum — how can you open up data access while also mitigating risks and remaining compliant? Artificial intelligence provides a way forward.
AI-powered solutions reduce friction by automating many elements of a governance program, including the enforcement of data security policies. For example, AI can rapidly assess all data as it is ingested, identify the risks associated with certain data types and automatically apply redaction techniques or other rules-based privacy measures.
The AI Advantage
All of this happens within seconds or minutes, depending on the amount of incoming data. Performed manually, the same process would take weeks or months — by which time the data’s business value would be greatly diminished.
Additionally, AI streamlines data access by automatically evaluating user attributes and securely routing data to the right person. This facilitates self-service analytics capabilities in which business users can run queries without help from IT and create their own charts, graphs, reports and dashboards from multiple data sources with drag-and-drop simplicity.
Although AI enhances security and privacy while enabling self-service data discovery and analysis, governance still requires human involvement. A governance team comprising data analysts, database administrators, business intelligence analysts and other IT professionals provides critical oversight.
Organizations with limited IT proficiency on staff may prefer to work with an IT solutions provider with specific data management expertise. Technologent offers a comprehensive data governance framework backed by a professional services portfolio of solutions including data analytics, artificial intelligence, data protection and compliance. Contact us for guidance on implementing a solution that allows you to make the best use of your data assets while also enhancing security.
January 11, 2023