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The Rise of Governance-as-a-Service: Analytics Corner

If you look at Twitter comments from marketers, you’ll easily spot a few privacy policy jokes alongside serious thoughts on GDPR.  But enacting governance policy is no laughing matter.   Marketers who are worried about managing their data against regulatory concerns should spend time thinking about governance as a service (GaaS).

GaaS is a general term to describe programming frameworks and services that help managers highlight governance issues.  GaaS can apply in a number of industries, and to a number of products and services.  There are consultative services meant to provide governance guidance for platforms. In content management, GaaS assists managers with determining the content and data available, the location of the media, and the services that have content access.

The driver for GaaS lies chiefly in the volume of application and application types that marketers can choose from in order to achieve a business objective.  It seems like just yesterday, understanding website layout was all that was involved in using technology to support the customer experience.  Today, apps, chatbots, and IoT devices are increasing exposure to programming techniques, such that marketers now must consider how all kinds of programming features can positively or negatively affect CX.

Protecting consumer information within those features is a capability in high demand; and in some jurisidictions there are stringent obligations to do so.

GaaS is meant to provide a link from granular business logic to technology that can execute the level of governance required.  While governance issues related to data can keep managers up at night, a developer protocol may provide means for governance over data — and some respite for weary managers.  Many developers have adopted Test Driven Development (TDD), a 3-task cyclic process that rapidly verifies software production readiness.   

One developer, who spoke on the topic at Nebraska.Code, a developer conference, stated that many developers have adjusted the order of tasks so that this kind of testing occurs earlier in the cycle, to avoid elimination if a budget reduction for a project occurs. It does happen, after all, that managers pressured to cut project spending midstream jettison many of the test tasks, because so many other tasks have become sunk costs.

GaaS can help out by incorporating aspects of DataOps, another methodology with developer-oriented roots. DataOps is meant to implement and maintain a data architecture so that teams can better manage data quality improvements. 

By working with developers at the test stage where data is used, marketers can promptly verify the relevancy of data classifications and models to marketing considerations, reducing data analysis time. Auditing data becomes simpler because the framework for how data is being used in an application, and its downstream impact to the organization, becomes clearer.  

There is also benefit to predictive analytics – having a better sense of testing concerns can aid model development by increasing accuracy.  Selection of training data improves, because the data can better match production conditions.    

Marketers can also benefit by intervening early to ensure that the business logic for data governance influences development. They are best positioned to instill guiding principles and regulatory perspective at an early stage of development of a software-enhanced product or service — especially one that involves personal data. Thus marketers can and should gain an overview linking data security to resolution processes for any data-related errors that impact the company.    

GaaS is an excellent support system for marketing in a data-driven organization.  Being data-driven has become the holy grail for staying competitive.  Leaders, according to a McKinsey study now view data and analytics changing the nature of industry competition.

But marketers also realize that they must do more than just have data available. They must deploy it in the best way to inform an organization, particularly with governance in mind.  Some answers to governance questions are not immediately obvious. Still, marketers should take heart that elevating data governance within an organization will be help support data integrity, as well as helping to answer difficult questions about its appropriate use. 





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