The amount of data generated and consumed from 2010 to 2020 increased by approximately 5000 percent. This number is expected to grow even more quickly in the next few years in a digital-only landscape. But are businesses equipped to manage this data explosion?

According to the WNS-Corinium Intelligence 2021 global survey Business Transformation After the Digital Tipping Point, only 1 percent have robust data governance in place. Interestingly, all the respondents said they were investing in analytics and Artificial Intelligence (AI), with 38 percent asserting that investing in data integration technology is crucial to their organizations’ digital transformation plans.

While digital technologies can help in accelerating enterprise-wide transformation, high-quality data makes the transformation fit for purpose in a rapidly changing landscape. This is where data governance becomes a strategic imperative. From quality management, data lineage and compliance to privacy, security and access controls, data governance encompasses the complete lifecycle of data integrity.

The Data Edge

A robust data governance practice offers the competitive advantage to spot possibilities before anyone else, and act on it proactively. Technology capabilities such as next-generation platforms and data quality tools embedded with AI and Machine Learning (ML), and subject matter expertise are crucial to designing effective data governance processes. For instance, a state-of-the-art data nerve center, underpinned by AI and ML, helped a leading European bank improve decision-making, drive innovation and ensure compliance with regulatory requirements.

While platforms with Web-based interfaces enable automated data capture, when combined with next-generation tools, they ensure effective data management, quality and security. These technologies also have the capability to fix data quality issues on the fly.

Automation is crucial to setting up strong data governance programs. As the WNS-Corinium Intelligence survey highlights, 64 percent of respondents in the banking and financial services industry termed the maturity of their data governance as ‘intermediate’ due to inadequate automation. The survey further shows that only a little over 50 percent have strong data governance frameworks to drive their digital transformation efforts.

In addition, efficient data governance processes must be established to meticulously comply with customer privacy and regulatory requirements. The survey shows many organizations are far from ready to tackle cybersecurity threats, with 65 percent citing budgetary constraints as the reason for not improving network security.

A flawed data governance program is a bottleneck to driving effective digital transformation. There is a fallacy that data governance is a constraint in the speedy execution of transformation plans. But if businesses have to empower their employees with data that enables impactful and evidence-based decisions, if they have to train AI models with veracity and confidence to provide the right outcomes, if workflows have to be equipped with the right contextual insights for accurate predictions, data governance must be looked upon as a strong enabler. It is the bridge that creates the trust factor resulting in exceptional customer experience. The survey shows that in the wake of the pandemic, 90 percent of businesses that failed to adapt quickly to a digital ecosystem paid a heavy price. Similarly, how well organizations implement data governance will determine their success in a digital-only world.

Are enterprises ready to Re-imagine, Accelerate, Co-create and Emerge in the evolving normal? Read our full survey report on the state of digital transformation here.

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