The core word in governance is govern. Data governance can be understood in terms of political governance. It includes legislative-like functions (defining policies, standards and the Enterprise Data Architecture), judicial-like functions (issue management and escalation), and executive functions (protecting and serving, administrative responsibilities). To better manage risk, most organizations adopt a representative form of data governance, so that all stakeholders can be heard.
Each organization should adopt a governance model that supports its business strategy and it likely to succeed within its own cultural context. Organizations should also be prepared to evolve that model to meet new challenges. Models differ with respect to their organizational structure, level of formality, and approach to decision-making. Some models are centrally organized, while others are distributed.
Data governance organizations may also have multiple layers to address concerns at different levels within an enterprise - local, divisional, and enterprise-wide. The work of governance is often divided among multiple committees, each with a purpose and level of oversight different from others.
This Figure represents a generic data governance model, with activities at different levels within the organization (vertical axis), as well as separation of governance responsibilities within organizational functions and between technical (IT) and business areas.