What the Heck Is Data Governance, Anyway?

Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

So you’ve heard the term “data governance” but still can’t quite wrap your head around how it applies to you. Two of our InfoTrust data governance experts—Head of Consumer Data Governance Kent Oldham and Lead Tag Governance Specialist James Bryan Gonzales—break it down and explain the ins and outs of this ever-expanding new facet of data and analytics. 

Q: Let’s start with introductions. Tell us about yourself.
JBG: Part of my role and responsibility at InfoTrust is to educate our clients and make sure they have complete visibility of all the tags/technology that is deployed on their website. On top of that, we help them create and deploy processes to ensure every tag request is going through a proper review within the organization. We also help organizations create their own governance team with the responsibility of implementing and governing tag implementation internally.

KO: A portion of my role is to leverage my experience as a former IT owner of consumer-facing websites at Procter and Gamble to help our clients successfully navigate and enroll their own organizations to successfully set up and maintain strong consumer data governance.

Q: If you had to explain what data governance is, in its most basic form, to a fifth grader, what would you say? 

JBG: Data governance is a way of introducing standardization of tag implementation across the organization. Part of the team’s responsibility is understanding what data is being collected and being sent to the technology on a digital property (like a website).

KO: Strong consumer data governance is making sure your company is successfully and compliantly collecting, maintaining, and using consumer information that is collected, stored, or sent to third parties. In other words, only collecting consumer data that you should and do use to help consumers successfully and compliantly interact with your company.

Q: What’s the big deal? Why do brands and businesses need data governance? 

KO: As both privacy legislation and technology changes surrounding consumer privacy expand and come to life, it is critical for companies to both learn how to be compliant and truly delight consumers with what data they can and still do collect on them. 

Q: What role does InfoTrust play in data governance for brands and businesses? What kinds of services do we offer/provide?

KO: We help companies embrace and thrive in this new privacy norm. Our services include everything from auditing and implementing consumer data collection to the creation and real-time monitoring of privacy policies we help clients create.

Q: What’s something about data governance that someone may not know or realize?

JBG: It’s easy to say that an organization knows everything that’s deployed on its website and the data it collects. However, most organizations are surprised once we share our audit showcasing what’s actually deployed and what data it collects. 

Q: In its most simplest form, data governance is relatively new (the internet isn’t that old after all). Why are industry leaders like InfoTrust putting such a strong focus on its importance and building a team of experts? 

JBG: The world of marketing is changing with the evolution of privacy laws. We want to educate organizations on the fact that this is going to be the new normal, as well as continue to support them in their adaptation journey. Given this, our experience and our proprietary technology (Tag Inspector), we are compelled to help our clients and their consumers when it comes to data collection, management, and use.

Q: What would you say to someone who may be interested in learning more about data governance and/or a role at InfoTrust focusing on this area specifically?

JBG: There’s a high possibility that what you know right now may be obsolete tomorrow. Never stop educating yourself as there is continuous change happening on a daily basis.

KO: InfoTrust is constantly on the lookout for knowledgeable consultants and engineers to join our team. If you are interested, please check out our careers page

Q: What do you think the future of data governance looks like? Pretty exciting, right?

JBG: Definitely exciting. I say this because it will require everyone to educate themselves in a space that is new to them. It also forces us to learn new concepts and explore new tools to do our job better. The journey is not going to be easy, but this is definitely the path every organization needs to take.

KO: The future of consumer data governance is very exciting because it couples the desires of consumers regarding their privacy together with the desires of companies to delight their consumers in new and respectful, constantly evolving ways. It is a good time to be a lifelong learner and technology practitioner in business. At the same time, it is a good time to be a consumer who wants your privacy respected. 

Don't Be Afraid to Adapt!

InfoTrust is committed to helping your organization survive and thrive. Equip your organization with the right processes and tools to be successful to earn a competitive advantage.
Last Updated: July 27, 2021

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