You probably don’t leap from bed every morning thinking about data governance.
But if you don’t have a grasp of the basic principles of data governance, you’re putting your practice at risk.
“Data governance is a subset of information governance,” writes legal tech expert Hans Willers. “Data governance principles are standards for how an organization collects, labels, stores, tracks, and manages its data. Effective data governance involves applying these principles at each stage of a data set’s lifecycle to maximize value, prevent data loss and unintended disclosure, and evaluate ongoing usefulness so that outdated data can be deleted.”
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Top 6 Law Firm Data Governance Principles for 2023
Willers has more than 20 years advising lawyers and firms on keeping their data safe and secure. Below are takeaways from his recent article “6 Data Governance Principles Corporate Leaders Should Adopt in 2023:”
Principle #1: Awareness. “You should know how much data your corporation has, what kinds of data it has, the purpose of each type of data, where each type of data is stored, what level of security various data types require, and how long data should be stored before deletion. This level of awareness requires you to search, analyze, and take inventory of your corporation’s data on a regular basis.”
Principle #2: Transparency. “Once you’ve created a data governance plan, you should share it with your employees. Successful data governance requires a holistic, organization-wide approach that demands transparency across your organization. You can further demonstrate internal transparency by documenting all data governance decisions and actions.”
Principle #3: Data quality. “Data should be accurate, complete, consistent, reliable, and timely.”
Principle #4: Responsibility. “Traditionally, your information technology (IT) department would be responsible for managing your corporation’s data. But now that most—if not all—of your employees deal with data on a daily basis, employees throughout your organization must see themselves as the stewards of your data. So, who is responsible for what data? That is something you will need to decide.”
Principle #5: Collaboration. “By giving employees from different departments the chance to discuss your data governance principles and help each other solve problems, you can maximize efficiency and ensure consistency throughout your organization.”
Principle #6: Standardized rules and regulations. “Standardization helps prevent confusion regarding data usage and ensures consistency between departments.”
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