What is Data Governance?
According to Gartner, data governance is “the specification of decision rights and an accountability framework to ensure the appropriate behavior in the valuation, creation, consumption, and control of data…” In short, it enables organizations to manage, utilize, and protect their data, as well as help them comply with relevant regulations.
Digital assets, such as images, videos, and corresponding textual information, are a form of data, of course. Data governance should, therefore, be an essential component of an organization’s Digital Asset Management (DAM) strategy, ensuring that it’s managed efficiently and safely and remains aligned with the organization’s overall strategies and objectives.
Single source of truth
A data governance strategy is vital to manage an organization’s digital assets. By governing how those assets are created, stored, shared and - ultimately - disposed of, an organization will be better able to ensure the accuracy, completeness, and consistency of its data. A well-planned data governance framework covers strategic, tactical, and operational roles and responsibilities, clearly defining roles relating to particular assets, and ensuring that responsibility and accountability are agreed upon across the organization.
Nowhere are the benefits of an effective data governance strategy better seen than in how it can provide a consistent view of - and common terminology for - an organization’s digital assets. All assets can be tagged to enable quick and easy identification and retrieval. But if everyone that had access to those assets tagged them using their own choice of name, the system would quickly fall apart - it would be virtually impossible to retrieve a given asset. Governance is therefore needed to ensure that all assets are tagged consistently, using a prescribed system of vocabulary, taxonomy, and metadata standards.
A data governance strategy will also specify how assets are stored. Establishing a “single source of truth” will minimize the risk of errors arising from disseminating multiple versions of data, for example. It can provide organizations with a valuable data map, too. By providing all stakeholders with a 360-degree view of key assets, this single source of truth will allow for a consistent understanding of their precise location, purpose and make those assets far easier to use and connect with measurable business outcomes. Furthermore, making assets and their accompanying information quick and easy to find and access will significantly improve the speed and ease of compliance reporting as well as optimize any internal processes that use digital assets.
Data management and quality
An organization’s digital assets don’t exist in isolation. A large amount of data is needed to inform decisions on how those assets will be used and managed throughout their lifecycle. But for those assets - and the data that accompanies them - to be usable, there must be a form of control and consistency.
A data governance strategy is fundamental to this, specifying how those assets are tagged, where they’re stored, who’s able to view them, who can modify and share them, and how long they’ll be kept. Establishing codes of conduct and best practices, and ensuring that concerns around areas such as legal, security, and compliance are addressed consistently, is another way data governance greatly improves an organization’s data management. However, implementing data governance in an organization is not always easy.
By providing the right tools for storing and managing all digital assets, a good DAM system is essential to effectively enable data governance across an entire organization. What’s more, a DAM system ensures the accuracy, completeness, and consistency of an organization’s digital asset data, thus massively improving its quality.
Leveraging a DAM system to apply organization-wide data governance rules and policies for your digital assets will indicate how these assets will be handled, stored, used, and disposed of, creating an information repository that serves as a single source of truth for all of an organization’s functions. By putting a data governance strategy in place, you will always know exactly what assets you have, where they’re located, who’s accessing them, and why, ultimately gaining true value from your digital assets.