Data governance and security

Posted on August 25, 2021 by Paul Mac

Data governance is the consistent application of standards, policies and procedures used to manage the information you collect, operate and report from. The core goal of good governance is to ensure that information is correct, complete, trustworthy, secure and discoverable.

It is clear that all organisations now depend on the data they create and manage for almost every aspect of their business. Data is at the core of all business functions including intake, assessment, case management, process control, scheduling, finance and minimum data set reporting. Good governance is simply the intentional management of this valuable class of assets.

Some benefits of good data & security governance:

  • More reliable data – Decision-makers will have more confidence in the data and as a result be more confident in the decisions they make. And those decisions will be better because they are based on accurate timely information.
  • A single version of the truth – One of the most valuable outcomes of good data governance is getting decision-makers to work from the same set of information. This synchronises all parts of the organization resulting in better and more timely decisions.
  • Cost reduction – better management of your data assets will make day-to-day operations more efficient and effective. Make better decisions and improve service delivery because you have access to an accurate, trusted source of information.
  • Funding Body Compliance – all health programs have some form of minimum data set and reporting requirement that connects directly to its funding source. Well managed data is a key element of maintaining the source of funding that enables you to do the good work that you do.
  • Secure Data – the act of purposefully managing data goes a long way to making it more secure. Its difficult to meaningfully govern your data without thinking about securing it.
  • Regulatory & legal – your ability to meet regulatory and legal requirements will be enhanced as the appropriate scope, structure, policy and oversight have been considered.

Key considerations when establishing a data governance regime:

  • What is the scope of information to be managed and secured?
  • What roles and responsibilities need to exist to ensure the data is well managed?
  • What is the purpose of keeping the data and ultimately the outcome being sought?
  • What are the guiding principles needed to help the data achieve its full potential?
  • What external forces such as regulatory frameworks will influence how the data is managed?
  • What external reporting requirements exist?
  • What success factors are to be measured?

If you are not thinking about the process of governing your data then you are taking a massive risk with arguably one of the most valuable assets your organisations owns.

Hopefully this article goes some way to help you understand what data governance is, the benefits that intentionally managing it can bring and some questions you can ask to get the conversation started.