What is Data Governance?

What is data governance?

Data governance is the process of managing and controlling the collection, storage, use, and dissemination of data within an organization. It involves establishing policies, procedures, and standards for managing data, as well as ensuring that these policies are followed by all members of the organization.

Data governance can help organizations ensure that their data is accurate, consistent, and secure, and that it is used in a way that aligns with the organization’s goals and objectives. This can help improve the quality of decision-making and reduce the risks associated with using data.

Data governance is often implemented as part of a larger business intelligence or data management strategy.

Data governance best practices:  

  1. Establishing clear roles and responsibilities for data management: This includes defining who is responsible for collecting, storing, and managing data, as well as who has access to different types of data and what they are allowed to do with it.
  2. Developing a data governance framework: This includes creating policies and procedures for data management, such as how data is collected, stored, and accessed, as well as how it is used and shared.
  3. Ensuring data quality and integrity: This includes implementing processes for ensuring that data is accurate, complete, and up-to-date, as well as identifying and addressing any issues or errors in the data.
  4. Protecting data privacy and security: This includes implementing measures to prevent unauthorized access to data, such as encryption and access controls, as well as complying with relevant data privacy laws and regulations.
  5. Monitoring and enforcing compliance with data governance policies: This includes regularly reviewing and updating policies and procedures, as well as monitoring compliance and taking appropriate action if any issues or breaches are identified.

Google Cloud Platform and IAM for Data Governance

Google Cloud Platform’s Identity and Access Management (IAM) system is a powerful tool for data governance and security. It allows organizations to control access to their Google Cloud resources and data, ensuring that only authorized users can perform certain actions.

To use IAM for data governance on Google Cloud Platform, follow these steps:

  1. Identify the data you want to govern: This may include data stored in Google Cloud Storage, data stored in a Google Cloud SQL database, or data stored in other Google Cloud services.
  2. Determine who needs access to the data: This may include employees, contractors, or external partners.
  3. Create IAM policies: IAM policies are used to specify which actions users are allowed to perform on specific resources. For example, you could create a policy that allows a group of users to read data from a specific Google Cloud Storage bucket, but not write to it.
  4. Create IAM roles: IAM roles are used to group together a set of permissions, making it easier to manage access for large groups of users. For example, you could create a role for data analysts that includes permissions to read data from multiple Google Cloud Storage buckets.
  5. Assign IAM roles to users: Once you have created IAM roles, you can assign them to individual users or groups of users. This will grant the users the permissions specified in the role.

Here is a sample written policy for organizations using IAM on Google Cloud Platform for data governance:

Policy name: Data Governance Policy

Purpose: To ensure that only authorized users have access to sensitive data stored on Google Cloud Platform.

Scope: This policy applies to all data stored on Google Cloud Platform, including data stored in Google Cloud Storage, Google Cloud SQL, and other Google Cloud services, such as Big Query.


  1. All access to sensitive data on Google Cloud Platform must be granted through IAM roles.
  2. Data owners are responsible for granting and revoking access to sensitive data.
  3. Only users with a legitimate business need should be granted access to sensitive data.
  4. Access to sensitive data must be reviewed and re-authorized on an annual basis.
  5. Any unauthorized access to sensitive data must be immediately reported to the data owner and the IT security team.

By following these steps and implementing a written policy like the one above, organizations can effectively use IAM on Google Cloud Platform to ensure the proper governance and security of their data.

Following best practices for data governance can help ensure that an organization’s data is managed, stored, and protected in a way that is consistent, reliable, and compliant with relevant laws and regulations.


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