The healthcare industry has been barraged with hype over emerging tools and dashboard technology emphasizing the visualization of information. The focus has been on the tool itself and more focus must be placed on the data asset needed to effectively utilize any tool. Most business intelligence tools on the market today facilitate constructing a dashboard that display metrics in red, yellow, or green symbols with the ability to view trends or drill into detail. But what data are you drilling into when you click on that yellow warning icon? How can we learn to trust our data assets? How can leadership gain confidence that disparate data sources are integrated with quality and accuracy? From where does this validated data originate? How can this information display really facilitate performance management? To ensure the creation of a trusted enterprise resource that facilitates performance management, a comprehensive data strategy that includes data governance must be developed. Decades of enterprise data strategy experience from within large complex healthcare organizations as well as other industries enables our ability to navigate complex waters and collaboratively build data governance strategies as well as help organizations operationalize them.
Simply stated, data governance is the process and organization of the management of data assets across an enterprise. No other asset in business is without a formal management structure with a defined set of roles and responsibilities. This requires a cultural shift to view data and information as an asset of the organization rather than of the individual, which has been historically typical in healthcare.
Today, data governance is the key to healthcare organizations being able to satisfy their insatiable appetite for data needed to meet the challenges of the evolving industry. This is an important journey that will work in parallel to healthcare transformation. Data governance is the journey toward trusting your data. Balanced with privacy and security properly, it is about liberating data and information ... not locking it up.