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July 22, 2018
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Data Governance,Data Management,ZAP Data Hub
A version of this article was first published on the DataFloq website.
Emma Hilton, contributing writer at ZAP, discusses why she gives a hoot about data governance, and why you should too.
Data is the lifeblood of modern digital marketing. As marketers, we understand that we need to gather data in order to drive insight to fuel future efforts and make them more effective. From retargeting lists through to behavioural insights and personalisation – data is pretty much at the centre of everything we do – so why are we so reluctant to give it some TLC?
Ever found yourself getting excited about the latest technology but turning a blind eye to any associated risk? Surely it’s IT who should be worrying about that sort of thing?
Having a strong policy on data governance has a hugely positive impact on risk management within marketing. Here are 3 reasons why you should start taking some responsibility for it:
Think about how many important marketing decisions are based on your data. Campaign optimisation or new campaign ideas generally come from customer insights, purchasing behaviour, customer feedback and plenty of other data points. But, imagine you suddenly discovered this data wasn’t reliable. Data governance is a form of quality control. It ensures that the data in question is trustworthy.
Without documentation in position outlining the standards surrounding the management of the business data, critical decisions may be made based on unreliable assumptions and incorrect information. A data governance policy will leave you feeling assured that the data is reliable and is safe for use.
Picture the scene. You’re planning a high budget campaign and in order to define your target CPA, you’re looking at variables such as Customer Lifetime Value (LTV). While this seems like a sensible call, what happens if your LTV is based on unreliable data?
If for example, you’re using data fed into a Marketing BI Dashboard which pulls from both the Sales and Finance Department, but both lack processes and documentation to quality control their data, the integrity of the data is compromised.
The data we use for campaign optimisation is the very same data we’ll likely use to make budgetary decisions, so it needs to be accurate.
Data governance shouldn’t just be the responsibility of a single department. Everyone who uses the data needs to care about it. A big plus for a comprehensive data governance policy is accountability. By implementing a coherent policy company wide, there will instant transparency about how the data is being used – warts and all. If the data is being poorly used, that’s fine, this provides an opportunity for collaboration between those who understand the policy and those who don’t.
A data governance policy will outline who is responsible for the integrity, security, usability and availability of the data and will detail the procedures which govern them. Data Governance is very much a constantly evolving process. When inaccuracies occur, these are likely the result of procedures not being followed or may highlight a flaw within the system. Either way, both make way for further refinements to be made.
From data warehouses and databases through to content management systems and spreadsheets – many large businesses have their data tied up in so many disparate systems that it’s a huge challenge to manage it efficiently. So, how can you remove those manual procedures and manage your data so that it’s A) compliant and B) accessible.
Automated data governance can take away a lot of the dirty work – automating the auditing, activity logging and access control across the business so you can focus on using the data to make good business decisions. The alternative, which is happening across many businesses, is a level of manual data governance which is costly and difficult to maintain.
With a sound data governance policy and automated data governance, enterprises can feel confident that the data they’re collecting and acting on is not only complete, but also accurate and secure.
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