Why data governance is key to comply with the GDPR

Only a few years ago, many organizations thought of data governance as a “nice to have.” In 2018, it’s become a “must have.” That’s because the sheer amount of data across the world has skyrocketed. Organizations are collecting more data than ever about their customers, partners, members, employees, and beyond. Plus, the data is getting more complex and tends to be stored in all kinds of places, everywhere from social media to email to CRM systems.

 GDPR | Binary Tree

Now, under the GDPR, companies need to protect and handle a wider range of personal data in new ways. To do this, your data governance game needs to be strong. Microsoft put together a white paper all about how data governance can help you comply with the GDPR. Over the next weeks, we’ll break down some of the key tips. In this first post, we share what data governance is—and why it matters so much for the GDPR.

What is data governance?

Data governance is all about keeping tabs on every bit of data floating around your organization. You need to be ready to find it right when you need it. And then get rid of it promptly when you don’t. So when we talk about data governance, we’re talking about a strategy that defines the policies, processes, tools, and people that are involved in managing and protecting data.

When you put together a data governance, you create policies all about your data:

  • How and where it’s stored and sent
  • Who has access to it and at what level
  • What actions can be performed on the data
  • Who can take action on the data, plus how and when they can do it

Why does it matter?

When you have an effective data governance plan in place, it makes it easier for you to stay compliant with evolving regulations—like the GDPR. You’ll have a good handle on your data and how you use it. Though the GDPR doesn’t explicitly use the word “governance,” it does spell out how organizations should control and process personal data, which is a subset of data governance.

Data governance can help you stay ready to be both proactive and reactive on any data issues that come up. You’ll have a clear plan to protect data and prevent unauthorized access or exposure. And you’ll have a plan to respond quickly to any issues or user requests.

Need help with the GDPR?

We at Binary Tree are doing our part to help our clients protect the privacy of their own customers. We can help speed up your GDPR journey by moving you to Office 365, which comes with built-in data governance features. Office 365 makes it easier to:

  • Find and catalog personal data in your systems
  • Build a more secure environment
  • Simplify how you manage and monitor personal data
  • Get tools and resources to meet reporting and assessment requirements


Source: Microsoft. Data Governance for GDPR Compliance. November 2017.