Data governance is critical for organizations that deal with data, but many see it as a tiresome task. Yet, good data governance goes hand in hand with good analytics. To achieve data governance success, organizations must change their Power BI approach so that the policies applied in data governance support the analysis tasks.

This approach allows teams to find insightful answers to important business questions. With quick access to valuable information, Power BI cultivates a data-driven culture where everyone gets value from data.

To gain deeper insights into Power BI and data governance we had a one-on-one with Alex Whittles, Founder and Principal BI Consultant at Purple Frog Systems.

In our discussion, we explored common questions organizations have about Power BI and data governance, touching on every aspect from getting started with data governance all the way to how these aspects help your organization achieve success. See if Power BI data governance is what you’re missing out on.

What is data governance and why is it important to an organization?

Data governance involves a set of processes for managing data assets throughout the organization. Governance ensures data is secured, trustworthy, documented, audited, managed—and used optimally by everyone in the organization.

Enterprises collect a staggering amount of internal and external data. Studies show that there are 2.5 quintillion bytes of data created every day at the current pace. And this pace is only rising with the growth of AI and the Internet of Things. If data falls into the wrong hands, the impact is severe.

To understand how data is used, who has access to it, and what potential risks are likely to face an organization, effective data governance is needed.

Why is data governance important?

Data governance makes organizational data accessible, usable, and protected. Effective data governance further enables proper assessment of possible gaps in processes, identifying areas where the organization needs to impose strict controls and where it needs to relax the rules.

Governance leads to better data analytics, which empowers teams to make better decisions and improves operations support. It helps these teams avoid data errors and inconsistencies, which may lead to poor decision-making, integrity issues, and a variety of internal problems.

At its core, data governance decreases management costs, improves data quality, and increases data access to all stakeholders. The result is better decision-making and improved business outcomes.

Who owns data governance and what happens if there is a lack of ownership?

When it comes to data governance, it’s not a one-person job. It takes the effort of several departments to work together in order to effectively manage and govern data.

A lack of data ownership is a barrier to improving data quality. Failure to have data owners means different departments must make their own decisions when it comes to data. In this case, it’s hard to assess when and where customer data is cleaned—whether it’s secure and the right quality. This leads to a poor customer service experience.

Most organizations have a Chief Data Officer (CDO), who oversees the governance of data across the enterprise. Most recently, the C-suite has seen a new entrant, the Chief Experience Officer (CXO) who is responsible for leading the organization to be more customer-centric and employee-centric.

A critical factor to consider when it comes to data governance is the alignment of business users and teams that are responsible for the collection, governance, and consumption of data. Everyone needs to be on board with clearly defined processes, goals, and authorization levels to keep operations running smoothly.

What cultural shifts need to happen in the organization to ensure data governance success?

Every organization wants to be data-driven. A data-driven culture encourages the advancement of data interpretation skills and critical thinking, allowing people to only base their decisions on reliable data.

A data-driven organization:

  • Eliminates data silos.
  • Democratizes data access.
  • Consolidates data.

Centralization and standardization are key for data governance success. When data is centralized, employees and respective departments can access it and make informed decisions.

Once data is centralized, it must be easy to find and presented the right way…in the form of dashboard reporting. This is particularly important when the responsibility for data is given to business users. Organizations need to create a data governance structure that provides everyone greater access to data, instead of restricting it.

When you have data in the right format, organizations create models that help the team predict what might happen a couple of months or years ahead. This can be in terms of customer behavior, purchasing patterns, and churn rate. With the help of technology, everyone uses this information to develop and launch new products and drive enterprise success together.

What does good Power BI data governance look like?

Data governance is among the most important components of any Power BI deployment. Power BI features allow organizations to increase the capacity of data governance in the BI flows. The platform ensures good data curation and protection with data governance features that are embedded in the management interfaces, data acquisition experiences, and end-user delivery experience.

For instance, the data protection feature on Power BI allows teams to add confidential and ownership tags to dashboards, reports, datasets, and dataflows. Only authorized users are able to access these areas.

The endorsed dataset’s functionality allows for datasets that are endorsed or backed up by their owners. These individual details exist in the cloud and they indicate specific datasets that are important for the rest of the team. With such authority, organizations rest assured that their data is secure and easily accessible to the rest of the team.

How does a Power BI Center of Excellence (COE) and data governance framework drive success?

To get the best out of a BI solution, setting up a Power BI Center of Excellence is essential. From a Power BI perspective, critical data is stored in a secure, trusted, and reliable way. Having a Power BI COE that creates and manages timelines—as well as supporting its evolution—drives success.

A Power BI COE accelerates BI and analytics adoption by reducing the time to implement data-driven initiatives, as well as embed intelligence. It has the technological expertise and business understanding to drive adoption.

Coupled with the efforts from a qualified team, a Power BI COE equips the organization with tactical knowledge to make sure best practices are followed across every department each step of the way. As a result, processes evolve alongside the organization to keep up with growing business needs.



When you take advantage of Power BI’s capabilities with data governance in mind, you help your team make better decisions because everyone is using more trustworthy, higher quality data.

Whether you are implementing Power BI data governance or establishing a Center of Excellence, we’re here to get you started with your success strategy. See if our Power BI Visioning Program is right for your team.