What is Data Governance?

What is Data Governance?

A recent survey by Zovy found that more than 60% of organizations believe that data governance is extremely important in their organization. This comes as no surprise, since most companies:


  • Expect data to grow between 26% and 50% over the next year
  • Face regulatory requirements like the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP), Sarbanes Oxley (SOX), Bill 198 or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
  • Must maximize limited IT budgets by making systems as efficient as possible


Data governance provides the standards, processes, and supporting technologies needed to manage data in ways that meet various stakeholder needs. Three core components for an effective data governance system are archiving, backup and eDiscovery:

  • Archiving. Archiving is essential for finding data that is hard to catalog and sort, and to retain data over time while keeping storage under control. Regulatory requirements have made archiving an increasingly important aspect of data governance. To comply with regulations, certain types of data must be searchable and retrievable. Unlike backup, archiving enable employees to search data across many different locations based on defined criteria. Overlaps often exist between data that needs to be backed up and archived.
  • Backup. Organizations must analyze their information with an overarching question in mind. If this data were deleted accidentally, would it cause harm to the business? If the answer is yes, it must be backed up. But, backup alone is not enough. The data must be backed up in a way that will allow for rapid and reliable restoration.
  • eDiscovery. In lawsuits, organizations frequently must prove that they have data management standards and that they adhere to those processes. eDiscovery systems provide the ability to audit how organizations conform to standards, and produce specific electronic data in approved formats in instances of litigation. eDiscovery is essential from a data governance perspective. An organization can have the best archive and backup solutions, but those provide little value if data cannot be located and process adherence cannot be proven in a court of law.

A comprehensive data governance approach addresses these three facets of data management from both a process and a technological point of view. Zovy’s team helps facilitate discussions with all the stakeholder groups – ranging from frontline employees who generate electronic data to IT departments and compliance teams. There’s no “one size fits all” approach to data governance, so we identify the pros and cons of different approaches and help you ensure that Zovy products support company policies and preferences.

Learn how to get started with a data governance program > Contact Us

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