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Have you ever thought about the vast loads of data that are generated and collected every day and the data governance challenges it presents?  Data is growing at a much faster pace and being created much more rapidly than at any other point in human history.  Healthcare’s technological advances, and move from paper to electronic health records (EHRs) over the last decade has created an avalanche of data that must be managed.

Challenges to building a successful long-term Data Governance process

Each hospital organization has its unique challenges and culture, but there are some things that are common across organizations.  Here are three things to consider about data governance:

1.    Understanding Data Governance Importance

Unless you have an effective data governance process in place, all that data is just a tossed salad of noise and distraction.  Effective is the keyword, in regards to Data Governance.  You could have all the processes in the world. If they aren’t the right processes, gathering the right information, then you are just wasting your time and money.  Data Governance processes should be more than just a document saved on a hard drive.  Data governance strategy should be part of your organization’s culture.

2.    Process vs. Project

Does your organization consider Data Governance an IT project or organizational process?  Projects and processes are very different.  Projects have a beginning, middle, and end.  Processes are part of the operational fabric of your organization.  A data governance process is the documented way that your organization gathers and manages data on a daily basis.  It may have a beginning but does not end until you put a new process in place.

3.    Ongoing Process Support

Do you have a long-term vision, supported by short-term goals for supporting Data Governance?  Is your Data Governance Process document sitting in a digital folder forgotten?  Or is it front-of-mind, and being used daily?  Who is responsible for making sure it is a living process?

In the beginning, you’ll probably have a team focused on implementing it. Consider how you will support the process, once the implementation team is gone. It’s not enough to merely have a tool if your team does not know how to use it to its fullest potential.

Data is continually flowing. The data governance process needs continuous support to make sure it is meaningful and actionable.

Learning More

Does your organization understand the importance of Data Governance?  Do you see Data Governance being treated like a project instead of a process?  And, when you look at your organization’s long-term vision, do you see Data Governance as a living process?  If this post has piqued your interest, and you want to learn more – download our white paper.  It talks about these challenges and shares solutions.

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