View our framework for data governance platforms below.

Technology plays a key role in data governance. Organizations need a variety of tools to create, manage, and enforce policies, standards, and rules. They need to define and document terms, curate metadata, and address data governance requests, issues, and problems, among other things. Until recently, organizations have used spreadsheets, web pages, and email to handle data governance tasks. But these tools are unsuitable as the scope of a data governance program expands to encompass more terms, data domains, and people.

Today, there are many software vendors who offer tools to support data governance processes and tasks. Increasingly, these tools are bundled into a unified data governance platform. These platforms are typically anchored by a data catalog, which serves as a repository for organizational metadata, a vehicle for supporting self-service analytics, and a method for governing data access. The catalog extracts metadata from a variety of data sources, primarily operational systems, but also reports, dashboards, machine learning models, and SQL queries. Third party applications, including business intelligence (BI) tools, collaboration tools, and other data catalogs access a data catalog via application programming interfaces.

“Data governance platforms are typically anchored by a data catalog….”

Eckerson Group has created a framework to help organizations understand the components of a data governance platform and its relationship to data management functions and tools. Besides a data catalog, components of a data governance platform include a portal, a business glossary, policy, compliance, and risk management applications, a reporting tool, and operations management. The platform interacts with data management and analytics tools and functions in a bidirectional manner. The platform delivers policies, guidelines, rules, and standards and, in turn, receives metadata, problem issues, and requests.

This framework is a useful tool for evaluating data governance products. The next section explores criteria for evaluating data governance platforms derived largely from the framework. This also was the focus of Eckerson Group’s CDO TechVent for Data Governance Platforms on April 26, 2022. You can watch a replay of the keynote and vendor panel here.

Data Governance Platform Framework

View Large

Sean Hewitt reviewing Eckerson Group’s framework for data governance platforms.