In TimeXtender’s quest to deliver the world’s leading technology platform for building and operating a modern data estate, our technology also provides essential support for establishing corporate data governance.

While data governance is a systematic methodology for businesses to comply with external regulations such as GDPR, HIPAA, Sarbanes-Oxley and future regulations, it also helps formalize a foundation to strengthen internal decision making for determining product costs, inventory, consumer demand, and other efforts to improve overall business performance. Two of the most pressing items needed for developing data governance are data quality and self-service analytics.

Data Quality

Poor data quality exists for many reasons such as having data spread out in departmental silos, different versions of the “same” data, or lacking common name identifiers. Without data quality, organizations face a real possibility of having a sub-standard governance program and making faulty business decisions.

Trying to govern data that is old, corrupted or duplicated can be messy. Although the tools for managing quality and governance are generally different, data governance can provide a framework for data quality.

Generally, the more data governance a company has the stronger its data quality will be. For example, data governance might rule that the business expose its data across different levels in the company for evaluation by multiple users.

Data governance might also mandate that each line of business have local oversight by someone within its unit (as an additional duty) who understands this particular business function and who can help ensure control, quality and security. This approach can be a better solution than having IT do it because IT won’t have the business knowledge for the particular department.

Self-service Analytics

With business users now craving autonomy and self-service analytics, it’s essential to design a system between IT and users, or what we call a “happy marriage” so that IT is responsible for all relevant data and security to ensure cyber security, while approved users get access to data as desired. However, controlling access to data is different than maintaining data. It’s important to have management and IT assign permissions to specific data for specific users up front, but the more we can separate IT from having daily control of giving business users data access for each request, the greater a company can succeed by achieving a business that relies on agility and fast, strategic decision making. This is where the modern data warehouse, and TimeXtender, can help.

Modern Data Warehouse (MDW)

A solid solution for helping to enrich data quality and simultaneously achieving self-service is to have a MDW that puts all data in a central location where it is governed and cleansed for quality. This secured repository also allows for allocating data access for specific users. The MDW can be used as an enabler for collaboration between business and IT to designate roles that suits both sets of requirements. With this model, companies can achieve the best of both worlds: they can build and reinforce corporate governance but also offer a data platform that is accessible by business users without waiting for IT to add specific data elements and grant access. Doing so, can help an organization meet standards for governance, compliance, quality, trustworthiness, access control and of course, better and faster decision making.

There’s another advantage to creating a MDW and this is where TimeXtender plays a keen role: legacy data warehouses are frequently a fragile hodge-podge of scripts and code – make a small change in a script or to the order in which scripts run and the whole thing comes crashing down. Not to mention that your data warehouse platform can be several releases out of date and just upgrading to the latest version of the same platform requires significant code re-work and testing. However, by refining the construction of your data warehouse using TimeXtender, you enable migration to modern data platforms – without writing code. Visit here to find out more about how our technology makes a MDW possible.

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Separately, it’s also important to point out that TimeXtender automatically generates all data- estate documentation and saves this information as metadata that can be shared in a PDF format. And because TimeXtender stores your business logic as metadata, you can choose any data element and review the data lineage back to the source database. The automation of this process by TimeXtender translates into a huge time savings for those still relying on manual efforts to document their data.

Closing Thoughts

Data governance can assist in building a collaborative relationship between business and IT but it can also be a catalyst for pursuing data quality plus self-service analytics. Tactically, the MDW can help achieve the needs and requirements on behalf of both groups.

Note: Much of this blog post was created from a previous story about data governance written by TimeXtender CEO Heine Krog Iversen that ran as an article in Forbes on December 17, 2020. That story can be found here.