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Focus Areas for Data Governance: Focus on Privacy / Compliance / Security

This type of program typically comes into existence because of concerns about Data Information Security controls, or compliance. Compliance, in this context, may refer to regulatory compliance, contractual compliance, or compliance with internal requirements.

This focus is often seen combined with a focus on policy enforcement. It’s also seen combined with a focus on Data Quality.

The program almost always results from a senior management mandate. It may be formally sponsored by Business or IT, or it may be an outgrowth of a Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC) program.

These programs generally begin with an enterprise scope, but often efforts are limited to specific types of data. They almost always include technologies to locate sensitive data, to protect data, and/or to manage policies or controls.


A charter for this type of program may hold Data Governance and Stewardship participants accountable to:

      • Help locate sensitive data across systems
      • Align governance, compliance, security, and technology frameworks and initiatives
      • Help assess risk and define data-related controls to manage risk
      • Help enforce regulatory, contractual, architectural compliance requirements
      • Support Access Management and Security requirements
      • Identify stakeholders, establish decision rights, clarify accountabilities


Next: Focus on… Architecture / Integration 


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About Gwen Thomas

Currently the Corporate Data Advocate at the World Bank Group's private sector arm (IFC, The International Finance Corporation), Gwen Thomas is the Founder of The Data Governance Institute and primary author of the DGI Data Governance Framework. Gwen has personally helped build Data Governance programs at the Federal Reserve System, Sallie Mae, Disney World, NDCHealth/Wolters Kluwer, American Express, Washington Mutual Bank (WaMu), Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, Wachovia Bank, Coors, and others. Gwen frequently presents at industry events and contributes to IT and business publications. She is the author of the book Alpha Males and Data Disasters: The Case for Data Governance.