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How to determine which data governance tool best meets your needs

Last updated:October 2016

Editor's note

Data governance is a formalized approach to managing a company's data assets. A successful data governance initiative helps organizations establish policies on how their data should be structured, maintained and updated, so they can provide their business users with high-quality data that's accurate and consistent. Organizations often use a data governance program to help them address regulatory compliance mandates, audit issues and data quality problems, or to assess and help bolster their data security.

A successful data governance program relies on careful planning and the right people, including business executives and data stewards typically drawn from business operations. But using the appropriate technology and tools is also extremely important, as they can help automate the processes that organizations put in place and enhance the efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability of the governance program. And there are various software options to choose from. While many data governance tools are based on traditional data management functions such as data lineage tracking, master data management and business rules governance, there are also specific tools that address governance program and policy management, and data quality.

But before you buy data governance software, you must first determine if your organization is ready. Knowing what you will do with the software and where the business value will come from is imperative. As expert John Ladley points out in this buyer's guide, getting continued funding and executive support for your governance initiative will be difficult if you can't quickly demonstrate its value -- regardless of how many bells and whistles a product has.

The first part of this buyer's guide will help you determine if your organization could benefit from such a tool, and, if so, how to justify the purchase to management. Next, we present the features and functionality you should look for in a data governance product. Then, to help you create a shortlist of products, we examine the leading data governance tools on the market and identify which tools work best for which tasks. Finally, we provide an in-depth look at each of these products.

1Assessing the need for a data governance tool

Justifying the need for the software includes understanding what you intend the technology to do. The use case examples presented here can help you demonstrate the value your organization could gain through the use of a data governance tool.

2Considerations for selecting data governance software

Here, we uncover the most important capabilities of data governance software and examine the functionality you should look for when evaluating the different products.

3Choosing a data governance tool to fit your needs

The analysis and comparisons provided here will help you select the right data governance tool from the leading products on the market.

4The leading data governance tools

Here we take an in-depth look at the leading data governance tools offered today, as well as the factors that differentiate them from one another.

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