CapTech was recently asked by a Fortune 500 company, "What are the emerging trends in Data Governance?". Since we work with many customers struggling with Data Governance issues, we used this as an opportunity to compile a top three list of Data Governance trends to respond to their query. In talking with several clients, four CapTech data architects, and many project managers involved with data-centric projects, we came up with the following three trends:

Adoption

Data Governance is sought after by Fortune 5000 companies, but its adoption is difficult. In fact, more companies planned to adopt Data Governance than any other IT Strategy in 2010, but actual adoption was limited, moving from 27% in 2010 to 29% in 2011. The Data Governance practice is still developing, and companies are struggling to prove out the ROI it provides. Expect widespread adoption as the practice matures, and as vendors continue to improve their products.

2009 and 2010 saw a growing awareness of the need for Data Governance under the larger governance framework that has also found increasing levels of adoption. Vinnie Schoenfelder wrote about this two years ago, in his blog entitled: Strategy and Governance leads concerns at Gartner Summit. In 2010 and 2011, we've seen a huge uptick in organization structures that recognize data stewards and data quality councils, two key components of data governance adoption; Data Governance has become better defined, and it seems to be poised adoption at many organizations.

Big Data

Companies are seeing enormous increases in volume, velocity, complexity in their data, and traditional methods of data management can't handle it. It's been estimated that 1.2 zettabytes of data were created in 2010 -- the same amount of data created by every person on Earth tweeting continuously for 100 years. It's estimated that we may create as much as 35 zettabytes of data in 2011. Data Governance tools will support Big Data processing (Informatica 9.1 supports a connector to Hadoop), and will move upstream, with real-time data correction at the source and self-service data quality tools. With the ever increasing volumes of data, Data Governance becomes all the more critical for organizations looking to leverage their ability to capture data and transform it into information that gives them a distinct competitive advantage.

Cloud / SaaS

So how will Data Governance be impacted by the Cloud? Cloud computing and SaaS are hot; witness the release of Apple's iCloud for the masses. Several Data Quality tool vendors are providing cloud services for common tasks: analyzing, monitoring, profiling, matching and cleansing. Companies like 'Data Quality in the cloud' for the same reasons that they like cloud computing generally; it's quick to deploy, there are no hardware or software costs, the software is always up-to-date, and you pay as you go. Companies are also considering the risks inherent in relinquishing control and exposing data assets to a third party.

There are probably many more trends that did not make our top three, but will have just as big an impact in the Data Governance space. Nevertheless, these three trends are the most pervasive and impactful to our clients.