Gaining Data Governance Flexibility in the Cloud 


Storing your company data in the cloud can not only be empowering but also a breath of fresh air for your organization. It enables you to quickly pivot where other non-cloud organizations must zig and zag, allowing you to be proactive. Blake DeLuca, senior manager of cloud innovation product at Merkle, explores how organizations can gain and manage flexibility in their cloud data governance.

It is vital to have a defined data governance strategy – data management best practices for quality and stewardship. A data governance strategy allows an organization to gain greater trust and loyalty from current and future customers, along with providing your organization with flexibility in the cloud. Here are a few key data governance considerations and benefits.

All Data in One Environment

A cloud-based database can be incredibly flexible, but only if you don’t create sub-databases off the main cloud instance, creating mini, siloed databases that either IT or marketing are unaware of. Often, we see organizations move data around to other cloud environments for reporting and analysis through various tools. When in reality, many tools and procedures are available through the cloud provider. By keeping all data in one cloud environment, your organization could save money on licensing fees and time training your team as it’s all in the same system. 

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Not to mention, keeping all data in one place makes it simple for your team members to access the right data to utilize when personalizing experiences for customers, which your customers will appreciate. For example, this could avoid annoyances of not having the most accurate data when a customer calls your customer service team or not being able to remove a customer from an email list upon request because that cloud database is a marketing silo.

Compliance with Ease

Utilizing the cloud also gives organizations the flexibility needed to comply with demanding and ever-changing legislation from GDPR, CCPA, and other local or state laws. This helps with deleting data as it’s all in one place. It saves time and effort as regulations expand, current ones evolve, and new ones are created. Organizations should adopt a privacy-first approach to the data they collect instead of trying to tackle privacy after the fact. This can be done by having the documentation that speaks to different cloud solutions, the data they house, and why/how you leverage the data. Not only can your organization be good data stewards in the data they collect. Organizations can quickly implement security measures for data access and viewing. This can be done through data clean-rooms or as simple as creating security groups of who can access specific privileged data. 

A Record of What is Where

Documentation is key to understanding your data and where team members can find it. As complex data sets grow, certain data sets can be found among numerous instances. All data should be described in a data dictionary that is frequently kept up to date. 

Having a strict data governance strategy and policy allows for flexibility and most importantly helps organizations save. They can save in two ways: one being that they are not having to pay to store data that they no longer need, and the other would be that some cloud storage companies charge per query size. So, if you have a tight data governance requirement. Organizations can save BIG by not paying to query old and outdated data.

See More: 3 Big Data Challenges for Manufacturers and How to Solve Them

Up In the Cloud

It may start slow, but your speed, flexibility, and scalability are endless once implemented and documented. The time to market of processing changes (ex: adjusting data, which could be done with a drag and drop in the same day instead of several week sprints of the past) goes up to increase productivity. In turn, helping your organization dream up big ideas, execute those big ideas by doing, and deliver those ideas through data-driven personalized marketing that drives engagement and conversion. 

To start planning, first, understand where you are today and the technology you currently leverage. Then map out your cloud strategy by setting goals of what you want to do and where you want to go and become in the future. Remember to take a privacy-first approach and keep this at the core of your cloud strategy, as this will be the key that helps unlock the full flexibility of the cloud.  

What data governance strategies are you implementing to gain flexibility in the cloud? Let us know on LinkedInOpens a new window , TwitterOpens a new window , or FacebookOpens a new window . We’d love to hear all about it!