Modern Data Platform: Governance

This is the second in a series of blogs which outline a vision of a Modern Data Platform, its components, and the benefits that can be realised from taking a holistic view of your data assets.

In this blog, I will expand further on the Governance components of the Modern Data Platform.  It is important to understand that although the components of the Modern Data Platform can be subdivided and thought of separately, they work together with the other components to deliver additional synergies for the organisation.  For example, in this case, the Governance component relies on the Consolidated Data Store to store the data standards and policy documents, and relies on the Data Catalogue to link and surface them to the end user community.

Data Standards, Policies & Licensing

Data Standards define how data is described and recorded.  They make it easier to share and integrate data assets by making sure the data is described in a standard way.  It can include things like column descriptions, data types, expected values and formatting.  Documenting and applying data standards to data assets improves the control and governance of those data assets, and enables consistent data modelling.  For example, a column called “Date” in a data asset.  What does this mean?  Does it also contain time?  Which time zone applies? What date format is used?  A data standard applied here can remove any ambiguity, so that when it is used in subsequent analysis, the analyst knows exactly what it is.

Data policies are a set of guidelines for ensuring the proper management of an organisation’s data assets.  This may include policies covering data retention, access control definitions and data archiving.

For organisations using external data sets, it is important that the Modern Data Platform Data can store licensing information about the data assets and then link the license information with those data assets, and potentially any child data assets.

These standards, policies and licensing information are also data assets too.  They are stored by the Consolidated Data Store component in a document management system and linked to their appropriate assets in the Data Catalogue.  This empowers data stewards or data owners in the organisation to take control of their datasets, ensuring that they are properly described.  Metadata is collected from the Data Catalogue to allow exception reporting of which data assets have no data standards applied to increase the visibility of uncontrolled data.

Management Dashboards & Exception Reporting

A common phrase used when talking about the data assets in an organisation is “you don’t know what you don’t know”.  The Management Dashboards & Exception Reporting component of the Modern Data Platform attempts to reduce this problem by using the metadata collected by the Modern Data Platform to specifically look for things that we don’t know.

Metadata about the data assets is displayed using management dashboards and exception reports to track Key Performance Indicators (KPI) within the Modern Data Platform.  For example;

  • The number of data assets with no data standard
  • The progress of a data asset through the lifecycle
  • Identify which users have permission to access a data asset
  • Identify data assets that have been modified recently
  • Data assets which are not complaint with policy
  • Data Assets by organisation unit
  • Data Workflow status

Both of these Modern Data Platform components provide governance of the data assets held on the platform.  They can and should be augmented with additional governance components as and when required, to meet organisation requirements.

Would you like to know more?

Would you like to know more, or how a Modern Data Platform can be applied within your own organisation to bring back control of your data?  Contact us on the link below.

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