Gathering, managing, and analyzing data is a norm for modern businesses, regardless of size and scale. Surprisingly, startups need to do it from the outset, even when they have few customers and employees on board. Every piece of information is valuable when making better decisions for a new business. But when you collect data, you must have a plan to manage, store, and secure it for the long haul. Data governance integrates the processes, policies, and standards to cover all fronts. While a common governance model applies to all organizations, startups may need to think differently. Let us highlight the data governance best practices you can rely on as a startup entrepreneur.

Pick the right people for the job

Data assets are precious for a business, so someone should be accountable and responsible for them. Even startups should be careful about picking the right people to manage governance from the outset. Typically, you must have people at the operational, tactical, and strategic levels to collect, manage, and utilize the key information assets for your startup. You may begin with a small team due to budget constraints, but be ready to add more people down the line. As your business grows, you will have more information to gather, so a bigger team is essential. Also, remember to bring qualified and reliable people on board for the job.

Invest in relevant tools

Once you have a governance team in your startup, you must empower them to get to work. The best way to do it is by providing them with the relevant and essential tools for their job. A comprehensive Data Governance Solution that helps you with search and discovery, business glossary, data lineage, and integrations is an ideal alternative. It may entail an upfront investment, but the benefits make it worthwhile in the long run. Besides investing in essential tools, you can take your governance plan a step ahead with a Master Data Model (MDM) with details such as the different datasets, access levels, partitioning strategy, and naming conventions. An MDM is helpful for orienting new employees joining your startup team. 

Provide continued education 

Data governance does not work with a set-and-forget approach. It is the last thing you should do as a cash-strapped startup owner, no matter how tight your budgets are. Continually educating your team on the value of data is the key to making the most of the strategy. The more they believe in the concept, the better they are likely to embrace a centralized governance model. Also, let your non-data team members be a part of the process to make the initiative a company-wide thing. However, you must define and control access to safeguard information from going into the wrong hands. 

Data governance may sound daunting to startups, but embracing it is the best thing you can do at the initial stage. The good thing is that governance is easier than you imagine because it follows the basics of making data more clean, consistent, secure, and accessible. Having the right people on the team and empowering them with relevant tools is enough to cover all fronts.