Buyer's Handbook:

Business value key to data governance software selection

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Issues abound in evaluating data governance technologies

Selecting the right data governance software is a tedious and complex process requiring consideration of several key factors that can possibly lead to multiple tool purchases.

Product features and functionality are important, but just as critical is the recognition that data governance needs to be treated more as a business initiative than a technology project. You need to align your organization's objectives with the software's capabilities and, if necessary, be able to convey the business value of data governance to senior management.

The evaluation and selection criteria for purchasing data governance software must first be prioritized, as consultant John Ladley explains in this buyer's handbook. Foremost consideration must be given to managing artifacts crucial to supporting data consistency. And since data governance is about overseeing data management, consider tools that provide data quality management, including quality rules, profiling and reporting.

While most governance programs handle structured data, organizations might also find it necessary to address unstructured data and document management. Keep in mind that you might have to buy a combination of tools from different management categories to meet all your needs.