Data Governance Metrics: 5 Best Practices for Measuring the Effectiveness of Your Program

Embrace a data knowledge catalog to simplify data management and take control of your data.
Data Governance Metrics: 5 Best Practices for Measuring the Effectiveness of Your Program

Data governance is an essential element of successful data management. And in today's data-driven world, where information is both a valuable, competitive asset and a potential liability, the ability for data leaders to measure and quantify the effectiveness of their data governance program is critical to demonstrating success and securing future investment.

From data quality measures and regulatory compliance metrics to user adoption, engagement, and overall maturity, data governance metrics provide data leaders with the critical insights needed to quantify the value of data and navigate its complexities successfully. Because without accurate and meaningful metrics, organizations risk poor decisions that lead to costly errors, reputational damage, and missed opportunities.

Demystifying Data Governance KPIs

Most data leaders understand that it is important to measure the effectiveness of their data governance program. However, they struggle while figuring out where to start. To begin, we suggest understanding the basics:

  • Data quality metrics: It is easy for data leaders to spot bad data. But few understand the full picture of their data quality and how it has changed over time. By measuring aspects of data quality including accuracy, reliability, relevance, and duplication, data leaders can gain better visibility into the integrity of the data.

    This allows them to identify incomplete data sets, outdated data, and data that is just plain incorrect. That way, they can prioritize their data governance programs to focus on the areas that need the most improvement.

  • Compliance and regulatory metrics: As the number of regulatory mandates continues to rise, it is imperative that data leaders keep their finger on the pulse of their regulatory measures so they can ensure their organization meets compliance mandates and deadlines.

    Regulatory metrics such as those related to data privacy, cybersecurity, and environmental regulations can also help data leaders identify potential vulnerabilities in their data, enabling them to quickly take action and rectify the issues before facing hefty fines or penalties.

    Compliance metrics also shed light on how well (or not!) employees adhere to internal procedures and controls, another important measure for data leaders to monitor.

  • User adoption and engagement metrics: Data leaders invest a lot of time, money, and effort in making data accessible so everyone across the business can use it to make better decisions. But when users fail to adopt or engage with data governance programs, the effort is for naught.

    By understanding adoption and engagement rates, data leaders can identify where they need to invest more time and energy to win over the skeptics and onboard them to the solution. In addition, they gain a better view into which data sets are being used and updated frequently and those that are essentially stagnant.

  • Data governance maturity metrics: Once a data governance program is in place, it is important for data leaders to measure the effectiveness and maturity of their data governance frameworks and processes. The more mature an organization’s data governance practices become, the better they are at managing data, ensuring its quality, and complying with regulations.

    Data governance maturity metrics not only include the measurements mentioned above, but also take into account the adoption of tools and technologies to support data governance as well as the overall benefits realized by the organization such as the avoidance of fines or reputational harm.

5 Best Practices for Implementing Data Governance Metrics

To gauge the effectiveness of a data governance program, data leaders should follow the following best practices to measure, monitor, and assess their program’s impact.

  1. Establish objectives and goals: Priority number one is to define the data governance program’s goals and objectives. Without them, it is impossible to evaluate success. The reasons for implementing a data governance program are varied, but some common ones include improving data quality, complying with regulatory mandates, or improving decision-making.

  2. Align KPIs and metrics to defined objectives: This may sound obvious, but too often, data leaders use generic KPIs and metrics rather than the ones aligned to their specific goals and objectives. For example, if the goal is to comply with regulatory mandates, the KPIs would include risk assessment scores.

  3. Define a reporting cadence: Next, data leaders should establish a regular cadence for reporting on KPIs and metrics. By sharing progress regularly, they can demonstrate the incremental value the program provides, while also assuring senior leaders that their investment in data governance is paying off.

  4. Analyze and review: This step is critical, but often overlooked. Data leaders must review the findings within the reports, analyze the results, and most importantly, determine what actions they need to take next. By analyzing and reviewing reports on a regular basis, data leaders can identify incremental changes that will improve the overall health and success of the data governance program. Which brings us to our final point.

  5. Iterate and improve: Data governance programs are constantly evolving. As data changes, so must the programs that support data governance. By consistently reviewing the established KPIs and metrics, data leaders can iterate and improve the governance program to evolve with the changing needs of the business.

Supporting Data Governance with a Data Knowledge Catalog

While data governance metrics help you determine the effectiveness of your governance program, a data knowledge catalog helps you take control of your data by delivering clear data, insights, and KPIs that demonstrate value.

Using a data knowledge catalog, users from across the organization can collaborate to gather valuable insights that drive informed decision-making, identify opportunities for innovation, and optimize business strategies for growth and competitive advantage.

A data knowledge catalog is a critical component of any successful data governance program. It helps users understand their data and use it as an asset by clarifying data definitions, lineage, and critical business attributes. And, it helps organizations take the guesswork out of data management. Using a data knowledge catalog, businesses can:

  • Accelerate processes by making it easy to find, organize, and store the organization’s data

  • Reduce costs and improve productivity by delivering up-to-date and accurate information

  • Ensure compliance by identifying and classifying sensitive data so it complies with local, regional, national, and global regulations

  • Eliminate data silos by sharing access to metadata, ensuring consistency and accuracy across an organization’s multiple systems and departments

Introducing DataGalaxy: The Industry’s First Data Knowledge Catalog

DataGalaxy's Data Knowledge Catalog promotes data culture and literacy to organizations globally by fostering collaboration across the business using centralized, homogeneous data sets, which saves the organization both time and money by reducing redundancies and questions around commonly-used data items

DataGalaxy’s Data Knowledge Catalog supports data governance programs by delivering key capabilities including the ability to:

  • Connect all data sources using a data dictionary

  • Gain instant, centralized access to your entire data catalog with natural language search and discovery

  • Create a standard, centralized data language for all users using a customizable business glossary

  • Facilitate data governance and share metadata knowledge with trustworthy analytics

When organizations integrate a data knowledge catalog into their data management processes, they are better positioned to increase collaboration and productivity, champion data governance, enable data literacy, and demonstrate meaningful, trustworthy results.

Measuring the effectiveness of a data governance program is key to understanding its impact. Data leaders should establish their goals, align their KPIs and metrics, set a reporting schedule, analyze the results, and take action to improve the data governance program.

They should also embrace a data knowledge catalog to simplify data management by helping them take control of their data. Leaders who embrace these practices, as well as a data knowledge catalog, will see the impact of the program and how it is improving the organization’s data culture.

About DataGalaxy:

DataGalaxy is the industry’s first Data Knowledge Catalog delivering data culture and literacy across organizations globally. As an established leader in Europe and operating worldwide, DataGalaxy offers a user-centric platform dedicated to metadata mapping, active metadata management, and metadata knowledge sharing.

Trusted by 140+ leading brands including Dior, Sephora, and TotalEnergies, DataGalaxy's innovative approach to data governance and cataloging empowers everyone in the company to manage their data knowledge, enhance decision-making, and unlock valuable insights for driving business growth. For more information, visit

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Join DataGalaxy for Data on the Rocks: Cocktails & Transformation Tales: An evening of networking with key data leaders in a chic location on the NYC skyline.

We’ll be hosting exclusive discussions about the industry's top data-driven transformations with curated cocktails to share with your fellow data professionals.

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About the Author:

Laurent Dresse brings his expert industry knowledge, experience, and determined energy to the table to help solve your company's challenges.

Holding a graduate degree in SME Management, Laurent began his career at Stefanini as a Solution Engineer. After six years, he became the Manager of European IT Support at Coca-Cola Enterprises, where he was a key player in establishing state-of-the-art support in manufacturing and office operations.

Today, Laurent is Datagalaxy's top evangelist and thought leader, using his market expertise and observations to educate the public on key data governance topics.

With over twenty years of experience, Laurent has successfully completed more than 100+ international projects with Ansell, Cognizant, and Bearingpoint and of course, DataGalaxy. Laurent will work effectively with your teams, listen to their ideas and concerns, and implement the necessary changes to make their Data Catalog initiative a great success!

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