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As companies continue to grow and rely on data to make business decisions, it is more important than ever for them to implement a strategy for their data management.

Organizations today can’t afford downtime caused by ineffective data governance strategies. With so much on the line, businesses must use appropriate data governance tools and software to maintain control of their company’s most valuable asset: data.

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The right data governance tools enable companies to meet their regulatory requirements while making it easy for employees to work efficiently. Below are some top-rated data governance tools and software solutions for enterprises to consider.

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Ataccama ONE

Image: Ataccama

Ataccama ONE is an AI-powered, enterprise-class, self-driven data management and governance platform that provides users with a single source of truth for all company data. It enables companies to drive digital transformation initiatives by providing insights into their data.

The software comes in on-premises, cloud and hybrid formats to help make processes more efficient, effective and consistent while customizing them to specific business infrastructures. It automates workflows to reduce manual processes and make them more effective for data professionals. Data stewards, data governance professionals, data analysts, data scientists and data engineers can all benefit from this tool.

Key differentiators

  • The tool offers various workflows for discovery, indexing, classification, cataloging, metadata management and self-service.
  • MDM capabilities reference data management and data integration requirements.
  • Role-based security is available to administrators.
  • Automation features include anomaly detection and business rule assignment.

Pros

  • Low-code/no-code customization for data quality rules
  • Strong, varied automation capabilities
  • Collaborative data stewardship

Cons

  • Software setup is complex.
  • Error messages are sometimes unclear to users.

Collibra Data Governance

Image: Collibra

Collibra Data Governance software helps organizations maintain their data quality and security. It is an all-in-one solution that includes a business glossary, stewardship management, reference data management, centralized policy management, a data dictionary and intuitive workflows. It also provides necessary insights for ensuring compliance with regulatory mandates such as GDPR.

Key differentiators

  • Its data help desk capabilities enable users to raise, manage and resolve issues by engaging the appropriate stakeholders to increase data trust.
  • Its data lineage automatically maps data connections to explain how data flows from system to system and how data sets are produced, aggregated, sourced and used.
  • Its business glossary ensures no gaps in language or understanding of an organization’s data strategy.
  • It offers complete visibility into business-critical data assets, such as key metrics, reports, APIs, models, data products and technology assets.
  • Collibra’s native lineage harvesters seamlessly extract and maintain lineage from source systems, SQL dialects, ETL tools and BI tools.

Pros

  • Connectivity options for business and IT teams
  • Automated compliance features
  • Automated data retrieval
  • Flexible and easy-to-use interface

Cons

  • Technical support can be improved.
  • The software has a steep learning curve.
  • Some users complain that the UI is difficult to use.

IBM Data Governance

Image: IBM

IBM Data Governance offers a solution that protects data confidentiality, integrity and availability by integrating with existing systems. This helps businesses ensure their data is reliable while meeting regulatory requirements.

The solution works with structured and unstructured data and can be customized based on your organization’s needs. With this software, companies can communicate in one unified business language, keep records, create rules and policies and track the organization’s data sources.

Key differentiators

  • This tool improves governance processes with standardization rules.
  • Users can monitor and report metrics related to governance adoption.
  • The platform helps administrators to enforce policy, manage compliance and promote audit readiness.
  • Machine learning algorithms are available for task automation.

Pros

  • Works with structured, semi-structured and unstructured data
  • AI-driven solution
  • Mitigates compliance risks
  • Offers end-to-end policy management

Cons

  • Steep learning curve
  • Integration with other software can be improved

erwin by Quest

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erwin Data Intelligence by Quest is a data governance solution that helps businesses run smoothly by giving them visibility into their data assets. The solution allows companies to track the data they are collecting and how it’s being used. They can also use different metrics to ensure that data policies and best practices are followed.

The software combines data catalog and literacy capabilities with built-in automation to view enterprise metadata landscapes comprehensively. In addition, the software’s data profiling capability allows organizations to identify sensitive data assets and monitor data quality.

Key differentiators

  • This tool automates metadata gathering and aggregation from disparate data management silos into a single source.
  • Professionals with roles in business strategy, data management, compliance, information management and technical operations can leverage the system’s dashboard and analytics to identify problem areas that require urgent attention.
  • ​​Users can visualize structured and unstructured enterprise data on a single interface, regardless of location; relational or NoSQL databases, data warehouses, on-premises, and cloud are all compatible.
  • With built-in interfaces, users can turn the technical format of the key cloud and on-premises database platforms into graphical metadata models.
  • It offers a real-time data pipeline for making informed decisions.

Pros

  • Automated metadata management
  • Data collection and organization into multiple catalogs
  • Business glossary, data lineage and metadata repositories features
  • Strong data policy enforcement capabilities

Cons

  • The user interface can be improved to make it more intuitive.
  • Some users consider the solution expensive.
  • Business support can be improved.

Precisely Data360 Govern

Image: Precisely

Precisely Data360 Govern is an enterprise-grade data governance, catalog and metadata management solution. Users can collect, organize, store and analyze information about their enterprise’s digital assets.

The tool automates governance and stewardship tasks to answer data source, usage, meaning, ownership and quality questions. In addition, it facilitates collaborative discovery, reporting and auditing activities that drive compliance with regulations such as HIPAA and GDPR.

Key differentiators

  • Data360 Govern works with several data quality solutions, including Data360 DQ+, Spectrum Quality and Trillium Quality.
  • Its 3D Data Lineage visually integrates data lineage, impact analysis and process diagrams to help organizations make sense of their data.
  • This tool assigns data assets roles and responsibilities, so all data assets have accountable owners.
  • AI tools are used to automatically tag data for classification or to link data.
  • Data360 Govern gathers metadata, makes business and technical metadata searchable, aggregates data quality and offers asset-based data governance ratings.

Pros

  • Uses statistical, predictive and machine learning methodologies to make predictions
  • Offers business users self-service options
  • Contextual automation capabilities

Cons

  • The data lineage feature can be improved.
  • The user interface can be improved: Some customers say it’s too difficult for new users.

Informatica Data Governance

Image: Informatica

Informatica provides a data governance solution via Axon Data Governance, which integrates all elements of the enterprise in a single, streamlined platform. It uses AI-driven automation to aid stewards with data discovery, quality evaluation and communication.

The software allows users to manage their company’s metadata and identify who is responsible for any specific asset. The software also allows users to monitor change and data quality and become more aware of what is happening in their environment.

Key differentiators

  • This technology allows users to monitor data quality, show data lineage and ensure data privacy.
  • It defines connections organically and quickly, detects gaps and connects policies to the assets they influence.
  • Data lineage visualization creates end-to-end business processes that illustrate coverage and duplication while exposing impacts.

Pros

  • Dictionary, search and rating features
  • Customization options available
  • Integration with EDC and other metadata tools

Cons

  • The software has a steep learning curve.
  • Automation can be improved.

OneTrust Data Governance

Image: OneTrust

OneTrust data governance software enables users to define data policies such as user access, data retention and residency, data minimization and data protection. Collaborating across business functions can reduce the risk of data breaches or flag violations.

OneTrust combines the capabilities of automated data discovery and classifications to classify personal and non-personal data so they meet regulatory requirements. The solution also provides a centralized management console that easily identifies any privacy risks using visual dashboards and reports.

Key differentiators

  • It includes hundreds of pre-built connectors and the option to create custom connectors using a drag-and-drop workflow builder in OneTrust Athena.
  • Users can assess risky data and implement policy and technical controls for encryption, masking and access.
  • Using OCR capabilities, users can access personal, sensitive and other data from various file types, including text, CSV, PDF, ZIP and images.
  • Users can automate each manual process in handling requests with adaptive integration workflows.

Pros

  • Comprehensive data discovery for structured, semi-structured and unstructured data
  • Simplified management of personal data
  • Strong risk management, compliance, privacy and role-based capabilities
  • Data portability and access controls

Cons

  • Integration with other tools can be improved.
  • Some users infrequently experience ​​issues with online assessments during the Data Protection Impact Assessment.
  • The software has a steep learning curve.

SAP Master Data Governance

Image: SAP

SAP Master Data Governance is a data management solution that nurtures enterprise-wide insight into the organization’s data and other key business information. The solution integrates an organization’s various information sources in one centralized environment. According to SAP, its application helps you pull together master data and manage it centrally using a master data management layer based on the SAP Business Technology Platform.

The Master Data Governance application comprises several integrated modules, including change management, data quality management and metadata management. These modules work together seamlessly to maintain consistency across your systems while providing insights into your organization’s master data assets.

Key differentiators

  • It allows different teams to manage their unique master data attributes and enforce validated values for particular data points through collaborative workflow routing and notifications.
  • To ensure master data readiness and analyze master data management performance, it uses data quality and process analytics to define, validate and monitor pre-existing business rules.
  • SAP Master Data Governance is a data management system that creates enterprise-wide insight into customers, suppliers and products.
  • With bulk change procedures, master data stewards can conduct bulk changes for business partner, customer, supplier and product data.

Pros

  • Prebuilt data models, business rules, workflows and user interfaces
  • Flexible support for record standardization
  • Helpful search and upload functions
  • Security features for authorization and authentication

Cons

  • The user interface could be improved.
  • Some users say data interpretation can be difficult.
  • Some users infrequently experience issues with business partner replication.

LogicGate

Image: LogicGate

LogicGate Risk Cloud is a GRC solution designed for enterprises. The company’s software enables data security, privacy and compliance so you can maintain regulatory standards without sacrificing innovation.

The company claims that its GRC platform “lets you collaborate, automate, scale and adapt as you go.” In addition, the solution helps organizations spot, monitor and manage business risks across the enterprise.

Key differentiators

  • Risk Cloud automates risk management.
  • It helps to make the company more resilient to cyber threats.
  • Users can access industry-standard control sets and frameworks in the controls repository for compliance standards such as PCI DSS, HIPAA, HITRUST CSF, CMMC, FFIEC CAT and FedRAMP.
  • Users can utilize the business continuity process tracking application and business continuity plan management tools to create, communicate, and monitor crisis and disaster response workflows.

Pros

  • Compliance process automation
  • Incident management support
  • Sarbanes-Oxley and OSHA compliance support
  • Compliance tracking
  • Audit controls

Cons

  • The reporting functionality of the platform is still limited.
  • The user interface could be improved.

Riskonnect

Image: Riskonnect

Riskonnect GRC software is an integrated risk management solution that helps organizations of all sizes comply with regulations. The platform is specifically designed for compliance, risk management, audit, business intelligence, risk analysis and process automation.

It provides organizations with a single point of access to review, analyze and report on data across their entire enterprise while supporting compliance with different global standards.

Key differentiators

  • The software helps risk, compliance and audit professionals share data, exchange knowledge and collaborate on business actions.
  • Riskonnect combines insurable and non-insurable risks so the company can anticipate, analyze, mitigate and effectively monitor all threats.
  • Information about business vendors — such as contracts, policies and access credentials — can be centralized in one location for easy monitoring.

Pros

  • Risk alerts
  • Workflow management
  • Manual process automation

Cons

  • Customization can be improved.
  • The software requires a complex implementation process.

Alation

Image: Alation

Alation started as a data catalog platform to help businesses inventory and access their data. It is now a platform for several data intelligence products, including data search and discovery, data governance, data stewardship, analytics and digital transformation.

According to Alation, its data governance app centrally automates and manages policies, workflow and stewardship activities. In addition, this tool provides deep insights into the state of an organization’s data and identifies risk areas early on to mitigate those risks.

Key differentiators

  • Alation provides unique insight into business data assets by inventorying, classifying and curating data and knowledge.
  • Alation allows agile approval of governance policies, processes and publications.
  • Alation provides governance teams with analytics and dashboards to monitor and track curation progress.
  • The solution automates data stewardship, classification, business glossary and quality documentation.

Pros

  • Automated stewardship processes
  • Policy and controls enforcement
  • Ease of use

Cons

  • Data visualization and analytics can be improved.
  • Some users experience issues when processing large amounts of data.

What is data governance?

Data governance refers to the administration of data across an organization. The process ensures data integrity, availability, scalability, usability, security and regulatory compliance while making sure that all changes are well communicated, documented and verified.

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Data governance is an organization-wide task that often falls under the purview of IT departments or data management teams. Companies that do not have a formalized system for data governance will often suffer from problems such as duplicate or lost records or noncompliance with industry regulations, which can be detrimental to an organization’s goals and objectives.

How to select a data governance tool

Selecting a data governance tool for your enterprise requires an understanding of what you need it to do for you. The following tips can help you narrow down your options and make an informed decision:

Determine the goals of your organization’s data governance strategy

Consider what risks are present and what needs to be improved to achieve business goals. Understanding your needs will help determine which software is right for your organization.

Research vendors

Analyze potential vendors’ strengths and weaknesses in relation to how they fit with your business goals. Some vendors offer better industry-specific solutions than others.

Compare prices

Request quotes from different providers and conduct interviews with their customer service representatives to see who has the skill sets you need within your budget.

Evaluate their contract language

Make sure your contract’s clauses give you enough flexibility while providing sufficient service guarantees. An accompanying service level agreement should cover the scope of implementation and support that the vendor will offer.

Test, test, test

Be sure to test the product before deciding. You don’t want to buy a tool that doesn’t work or isn’t compatible with your technology stack.

Ready to commit to a vendor and sign a contract? Take a look at our guide to service level agreement policy to ensure your contract is comprehensive.

Key features of data governance platforms

Data governance platforms offer several features that ensure your enterprise is running smoothly. Here are some capabilities you should look for in a data governance platform:

  • Data ownership and stewardship
  • Business glossary
  • Automated data lineage
  • Data discovery
  • Integrated data catalog
  • Data quality assessment and maintenance
  • Data standards and rules
  • Metadata management

What are the benefits of using data governance solutions?

A data governance solution ensures that all company data syncs with the organization’s objectives. It also ensures that all relevant data is available for decision-making, analytics, reporting, compliance, governance, security and risk management. Benefits of using data governance solutions include:

Higher data quality

Good data is accurate, relevant, timely, complete, consistent and relevant to the purpose for which it was collected. Conversely, insufficient data leads to bad decisions, increased costs and time spent fixing errors that could have been avoided using better data. Data governance tools are designed to increase data quality and overall organization of data assets.

Improved regulatory compliance

Depending on your industry, adhering to regulatory compliance standards can be difficult without the proper tools and resources. Data governance tools help organizations balance the needs of customers, employees, partners and shareholders with regulatory requirements.

Increased revenue

Data governance solutions will help you increase revenue by generating insights about your business. These insights can be used to make more educated marketing and product decisions, improve customer service by understanding their needs and provide more personalized experiences.

Better decision-making

With access to all of the information they need in one centralized location, managers can make faster and smarter decisions that lead to improved business performance across departments.

Optimized business performance

Without any obstacles in the way of analyzing and gaining insight from data, leaders can take charge and guide their teams toward truly data-driven goals.