Majority of UK Businesses Reportedly Recognize Strategic Value of Data Governance

Research from Experian has revealed British businesses recognize the critical role effective data governance plays in today’s modern economy but cite inherent obstacles in putting these practices into action.

The findings reveal that 8 in 10 (83%) British businesses “acknowledge data governance should no longer be an afterthought and can give them a strategic advantage.”

A further 86% agreed that data governance “will become more important over the next five years.”

With AI changing the way businesses are run and “being seen a key differentiator, nearly three quarters (73%) also said data governance is the cornerstone to better AI.”

However, difficulties in integration and scalability, “as well as poor data quality are key challenges businesses are having to contend with when it comes to managing data effectively and responsibly through its lifecycle.”

The findings show the three most common barriers “to good data governance are having to embed data governance into existing ways of working and processes (72%), improving data quality and scalability (71%), and ensuring it keeps pace with existing technology and business models (71%).”

With British businesses agreeing that “the most serious consequences of poor data governance are compliance failures, security breaches and reputational damage, the Experian Data Quality team advises companies to take three fundamental steps to ensure effective data governance” including:

  • Assemble the right team: Data governance needs the right team to lay the foundations for a scalable and sustainable program. The most successful businesses often set up a cross-departmental data governance council to identify, prioritize, and execute data-based projects.
  • Choose data governance investments wisely: Almost every business surveyed (97%) are investing in their data governance approaches in the next two years. This includes investing in high quality technologies and tools and improving data literacy and skills internally.
  • Regularly review data governance approaches and policies: As well as investing in the right data governance framework, businesses need to review their processes routinely. Whilst the specific timeframe is different for each business, the data governance team should meet at least once a month to discuss key items.

Andrew Abraham, Global Managing Director, Data Quality, Experian UK&I, said:

“In a world where everything is increasingly based on data, the importance of data management is crucial. The research shows that British businesses understand that and, by leveraging data effectively, they can gain the competitive edge and ability to deliver better services as well as ensure they remain fully compliant and secure.”

As noted in the update:

“However, there is one thing businesses must remember. While data management is crucial, a one-size-fits-all approach won’t work. Businesses need to develop data governance strategies using flexible tools that align with their own unique opportunities, risks and regulations to unlock the true potential of their data.”

Jon Weeks, Head of Performance and Information Management, Wessex Water, added:

“Data governance has been a game changer for our organisation. Partnering with Experian to increase our data governance efforts has improved the ownership of our data whilst creating a more data focussed culture at Wessex Water. It has also enabled improved business outcomes and allowed us to implement more efficient processes.”

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