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July 31, 2023

Harnessing the Power of Data Governance Automation to Mitigate Data Risk

Did you know that airplanes have been using autopilot since 1912? Or that on any given flight, automation is now used approximately 98% of the time when the plane’s in the air?

Data governance automation is a lot like an aircraft’s autopilot system. While some people fear removing humans from the equation, both systems enhance safety, reduce human error, and allow workers to focus on critical decision-making. One of the most valuable tools for data management, data governance software enables your organization to minimize data risks and maximize data asset value.

So, while today’s headlines reflect a general sense of apprehension about AI’s potential consequences, the truth is that automation is not the harbinger of doom some would have us think. In fact, AI-driven data governance solutions are a terrific example of how this transformative technology is changing the business world for the better.

What is Data Governance Automation?

Data governance is everything your business does to ensure its data is secure, private, accurate, and available. It includes a data governance framework outlining data policies, procedures, roles, and responsibilities. It also helps maintain data quality assurance and compliance.

AI’s recent breakthroughs have made the technology even more useful for enhancing data governance and increasing data’s value. Assuming a solid data governance framework is in place, AI can be used in multiple ways to help form governance policies and practices.

  1. Equalize data access and use. For decades, companies have taken a top-down approach to data governance, which can result in delays as data access and decision-making go through hierarchal channels. Data governance automation makes it possible to gather and crunch data much more quickly so stakeholders can use it to make decisions.
  2. Speed and scale. AI’s real-time governance capabilities help organizations make up-to-the-minute adjustments to data and governance efforts, time-consuming tasks that are typically handled manually by data managers. For instance, most data government policy changes result in newly developed processes that need to be implemented, such as training on the latest ways the company will handle personally identifiable information (PII). Data governance automation can complete this task in a fraction of the time it takes humans to scan unstructured data.
  3. Always-on data security and integrity. Security and data privacy are principal components of every data governance program. AI automates 24/7 analysis and monitoring of data privacy, security, and compliance, identifying typical cyberattack patterns and notifying security teams before data is compromised.

Data governance automation eliminates manual, repetitive tasks and mitigates the risks often associated with modern information management. To ensure your organization’s data governance framework is as effective as possible, you must build a strategy that adheres to industry standards and will continue to work in the long term.

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Data Governance Software

Current tech advancements have led to the development of sophisticated software solutions that make data governance more streamlined and accessible to various industries and companies of any size. These innovative tools make it easier to manage, analyze, and protect your business’s data while unlocking critical insights that can drive growth and success.

The software’s key features and capabilities include:

  • Data lineage tracking capabilities facilitate tracing data’s origin, movement, and transformation throughout its lifecycle. It boosts data transparency, improves data auditing, and helps identify data-related errors or issues sources.
  • Metadata management helps businesses maintain comprehensive data attributes, definitions, and relationship repositories, ensuring end-users understand the data’s context and meaning and promoting consistent data interpretation.
  • Access controls simplify the process of defining and enforcing data access permissions and restrictions. By implementing fine-grained access controls, your organization can protect sensitive information while meeting data privacy regulations.
  • Automated data classification uses AI and machine learning to categorize data on the basis of predefined criteria, accelerating data labeling and facilitating efficient data management and risk assessment.

By investing in and implementing data governance software, your organization can increase data transparency, enhance data accuracy, and streamline data management. And with better-written data government policies in place, you can focus more on applying the policies themselves, thereby reducing risk.

Tools for Data Management

Several tools and technologies now exist to complement an organization’s existing data governance initiatives.

  1. Data catalogs provide a centralized data asset inventory. Their organized interface makes it easy for users to quickly discover, understand, and access relevant data.
  2. Data quality tools identify and rectify data issues, ensuring the data’s reliability and integrity.
  3. Data security solutions safeguard sensitive information and guard against data breaches. They can include encryption, tokenization, data masking, and access controls that ensure data is adequately protected.
  4. A data governance platform offers in-depth solutions for managing and governing data. It provides a single integrated environment for everything from data lineage to policy enforcement.
  5. Data compliance software helps businesses adhere to regulatory requirements and avoid often hefty fines and penalties.

Used in conjunction with data governance automation, these and other data management tools improve existing data management processes, helping businesses achieve a more integrated and effective data governance strategy. For instance, data management tools can assess data’s quality and completeness via data profiling. Data governance automation can then use the information to enforce data quality standards and ensure data accuracy. Another example is data management tools restricting data access based on user roles and permissions. Data governance automation can then enforce written policies, limiting who can access specific data.

Now’s the Time to Invest in Data Governance Automation

Data’s incredible growth over the past decade presents businesses big and small with monumental challenges. Traditional data management approaches can no longer keep up with the sheer volume of data being generated and gathered. And as data continues to expand at ever-increasing rates, organizations must invest in more sophisticated solutions, including automated data management software.

Nearly all of the data created today is what’s known as “unstructured data,” or information that doesn’t conform to a specific format. Examples include emails, audio and video files, images, social media posts, and any other content that can’t be neatly organized in rows and columns. Organizations use unstructured data to gain valuable insights that help improve decision-making and innovation.

The risks associated with unstructured data that’s improperly managed include data leaks, privacy breaches, and reputational damage. Not maintaining strict control over your organization’s unstructured data can result in:

  • Unauthorized disclosure of sensitive data, leading to compliance violations.
  • User privacy deficiencies which result in non-compliance with standards like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
  • Increased data theft.

These and other risks only serve to highlight how critical it is for enterprises to deploy effective solutions for managing and securing all their data. They must discover ways to integrate good solutions into existing environments without causing disruptions or slowdowns.

Aside from safeguarding sensitive data, businesses that invest in data governance automation gain a competitive edge in many ways:

  1. The data they depend on to make informed decisions, mitigate risks, and optimize operations is more reliable.
  2. Data is available in real-time, empowering decision-makers to respond quickly to changing market conditions.
  3. They face fewer data breaches through better adherence to data privacy regulations, security standards, and industry-related compliance requirements.
  4. Feedback and other customer-related data can be used to create personalized and targeted marketing campaigns.
  5. The ability to adapt quickly to customer needs and demands helps drive the innovation of products and services.

Data governance automation also promotes a data-driven culture where employees embrace the idea of using data in their daily tasks and decision-making.

There’s no question that data governance automation is a promising solution to the challenges posed by an ever-expanding data landscape. At Velotix, we believe it’s the key to unlocking data’s full potential while ensuring a safer and more prosperous business environment. Investing in data governance software and complementary data management tools can help any organization fortify its data infrastructure and remain competitive.

Contact us today to learn more or book a Velotix demo.

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