Data governance (DG) refers to the overall management of the availability, usability, integrity, and security of the data employed in an enterprise. A sound data governance program includes a governing body or council, a defined set of procedures, and a plan to execute those procedures.
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The initial step in the implementation of a data governance program involves defining the owners or custodians of the data assets in the enterprise. A policy must be developed that specifies who is accountable for various portions or aspects of the data, including its accuracy, accessibility, consistency, completeness, and updating. Processes must be defined concerning how the data is to be stored, archived, backed up, and protected from mishaps, theft, or attack. A set of standards and procedures must be developed that defines how the data is to be used by authorized personnel. Finally, a set of controls and audit procedures must be put into place that ensures ongoing compliance with government regulations.