Data governance; a key boardroom agenda

Image credits: Unsplash

Data Governance Overview

Data governance explains a set of regulations and procedures governing the input, manipulation, and use of data in an organization. The governance process entails the entire life cycle of data processing; which entails data collection, storing, and processing. Data engineers collect data from online data platforms, databases, and APIs for processing. Further such engineers own the responsibility of ensuring data security in an organization and as a result, they contribute to developing a sound, strong data governance strategy to guide the whole data cycle.

The state of data privacy

A discussion between Shane Hastie and Ayana Miller reveals that data protection officers ought to understand essential things like the type of data being collected, the use of the data, what information flows exist, and which systems will receive and handle the data. Organizations gather a lot of data from customers. It is therefore the responsibility of privacy engineers to participate in helping to implement data regulations in their countries and companies. Additional roles attached to data engineers are to create helper functions on websites to guide customers on if to opt to sell their data or not. Data privacy brings into play ethical a consideration that is a cross-functional and multidisciplinary aspect in data security. The cross-functional aspect brings a data governance team, legal officers, architects, engineers, IT experts, and system security personnel into a single room. 

Business Impact

The inclusive data governance approach facilitates businesses to deliver services confidently, and facilitate quality decisions that lead to the delivery of the best services to customers. Every individual and business needs a data governance policy. The policy helps businesses maintain data availability, consistency, security, integrity, and usability. Poor data strategy attracts mistrust, data quality degradation hence leading to devolved data-driven initiatives.

Sample Data governance platforms

Data engineers at YipitData build an internal data platform service to enable data analysts to experience an end-to-end project delivery. The strategy has enabled the business to scale its output. The data platform as described by Andrew Gross,  Anup Segu, and Bobby Muldoon as scalable and easy to maintain. Such features help the company scale output in informing investment decisions by businesses and hedge funds.

Immuta is another fascinating data platform that addresses the access control challenge faced in many organizations. The Immuta team build a flexible yet maintainable system to enable data teams to integrate data masking, authorization, and privacy as shared by Stephen Bailey and Steve Touw in an episode. The platform streamlines the sensitive data workflow operations in the company. 

Focus on Cloud and E-commerce giant Amazon

Tech giants like Facebook, Twitter, Apple, Google, and Amazon contributes to a great extent to customer data privacy. Here we explore Amazon’s privacy policy approach in the marketplace. At Amazon’s App Store the policy requires the developers to include personally Identifiable Information (PII). Amazon also updated and effected new data privacy policies in her data protection policy document which came into effect on January 1, 2021. The policy governs customer data such as receipts information, usage, storage transfer, and even disposition of goods. The data protection policy supplements the marketplace developer policy. 

Final thoughts

  • Data literacy need to be enhanced
  • Data privacy strategy ought to be designed right from the start of any business product development
  • Current systems are not optimized for data privacy
  • The public should be concerned about personal data  


Nicholas Musau, Junior Machine Learning Engineer at Omdena

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.

About Nicholas Musau

Nicholas Musau, Junior Machine Learning Engineer at Omdena

View all posts by Nicholas Musau →