Effective data governance strategies are crucial for organisations to stay in compliance with regulations, protect consumer data, and ensure that data is reliable for gaining insights and informing future business strategy.

Anyone can set a goal of saving money, but it is impossible to reach that goal if you don’t know when to put money away, don’t monitor your spending, or never review your bank statements. Any time you set a goal, monitoring your path to success is crucial to achieving it, and achieving effective data governance is no different.

Establishing metrics and performance indicators allows you to measure progress and adjust your data governance strategy as necessary to maximise success. Once you establish proper data governance metrics and KPIs based on your business goals, you can take your data governance strategy and success to the next level.

What are data governance metrics and KPIs?

Data governance is the process used to ensure data follows strict rules and regulations as it enters a database and is used throughout an organisation. Data governance metrics are indicators put in place in order to measure the effectiveness of an organisation’s data governance processes. Key performance indicators (KPIs) provide additional ways to measure progress.

Data governance centres around three key areas—people, process, and technology. Because data governance is a comprehensive process and is often more difficult to measure, organisations need to establish metrics in each of the three areas to experience success.

Effective data governance strategies are crucial for organisations to stay in compliance with regulations, protect consumer data, and ensure that data is reliable for gaining insights and informing future business strategy. By using data governance metrics, organisations and businesses can ensure they remain in compliance and maintain quality, valuable data.

Why are data governance metrics important?

Data governance metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) are vital for measuring success and monitoring progress. Measuring progress in data governance is important for determining whether or not your current data governance practices are effective and how to improve them if necessary.

When you focus on KPIs for governance and compliance, you are able to determine how effective your processes are and how they may need to be adapted over time. After all, setting a strategy and hoping for the best is not a recipe for success, as you can never address issues that you are not aware of.

Data governance metrics are powerful tools for any data-driven business, as they allow businesses to:

  • Highlight the effectiveness of a data governance strategy on areas like data quality and accuracy
  • Demonstrate the success of data governance initiatives to stakeholders
  • Uncover areas of improvement in your data governance and data management strategies
  • Identify the need for a change of approach or priorities in your data governance initiatives

Without focusing on data governance metrics, it can be easy for your best processes and strategies to fall by the wayside. Above all else, metrics and key performance indicators help provide accountability and ensure that your business maintains strong standards in its data governance procedures.

How to measure success in data governance

One of the first steps in measuring success in data governance is determining what success looks like for your business. To do so, you must consider your business objectives, what operations data governance will improve, the desired data governance outcomes, and what stakeholders stand to benefit. Generally, to reach success in data governance, you should focus on four key areas to measure your business’s effectiveness in getting there.

Data quality

Data quality is a crucial part of any data governance strategy, and fortunately, it is not difficult to measure. Strong data quality is a direct consequence of effective data governance and data management. Some measurable aspects of data quality include:

  • Data accuracy
  • Data completeness
  • Data validity
  • Data integrity

The easiest way to track your data quality is through the use of a data quality platform, which can provide a breakdown of your data’s accuracy and completeness through a dashboard and highlight areas of improvement. You can learn more about Experian’s Data Quality Platform and how it can integrate alongside your data governance platform here.

You can also improve data quality by using tools like email, address, and phone number validation. Each of these tools can be used in real-time or through batch cleansing methods to prevent errant data from entering your database and remove the errors that sneak in over time.


People are one of the driving forces of proper data governance in your organisation. Your organisation should consider who is accountable for managing data and what resources they need to succeed. For many businesses, this involves establishing set roles and teams.

Some of the measurable components in this area include:

  • How many hours of training stakeholders receive
  • The percentage of employees trained on data literacy
  • The percentage of employees trained on data governance strategies
  • The number of stakeholders trained in a given time period
  • The percentage of employees that engage with data management meetings and events

Establishing these metrics allows your organisation to ensure that data management teams are adequately prepared to handle tasks surrounding data governance.


The processes within data governance help describe how your organisation approaches the strategy. Processes reflect how data is collected, moved, stored, accessed, and secured. Establishing effective processes is vital for ensuring that data remains accurate and valuable throughout its life in an organisation.

Measurable metrics and KPIs for your business include:

  • The number or percentage of areas and standards where your business is compliant
  • The number of employee logins to a data insights tool or dashboard
  • A percentage of employees who agree that collected data is relevant to the business objectives
  • The number of passed data audits carried out

Once your organisation has the right systems and a strong team in place, technology is what really seals the deal. Data governance technology helps to support the process in several ways, saving time and energy for the teams responsible for managing and maintaining its quality. Data governance tools can:

  • Assist with data profiling
  • Identify and correct errors in data entries
  • Assess the validity of data that enters a database
  • Securely store and maintain data
  • Seamlessly collect and transfer data throughout the organisation

Given the potential functions of data governance technology, some measurable metrics in this area can include:

  • How often you run batch cleansing processes
  • The number of attributes profiled
  • The number of data entries corrected by a tool
  • The percentage of accurate data in a database

Using data governance metrics to monitor and assess the effectiveness of your technology makes it easier to determine whether your tools are achieving the desired outcomes. If the metrics are not providing the returns you would hope, then you can consider if there are better ways to use the tools or if you simply need better tools.

Develop your data governance metrics for sustained success

It’s one thing to take strides in your data governance processes, but it is another thing to make sure that these strides are actually effective. Data governance metrics and KPIs play an important role for any data-driven business by ensuring that a data governance program is effective and achieving the desired outcomes.

Establishing a strong data governance strategy is even easier with the right tools, and Experian Data Quality can help. Our data quality solutions are geared toward helping you get the most out of your data, from ensuring its accuracy and completeness to gaining valuable insights and analysis from it. Contact us to learn more about how to take your data governance strategies to the next level.

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