Appendix A. Google’s Internal Data Governance

In order to understand data governance, it is good to look at a practical example of a company with a deep investment in the topic. We (the authors) are all Google employees, and we believe that in Google we have a great example of a deeply ingrained process, and a fine example of tooling.

The Business Case for Google’s Data Governance

Google has user privacy at the top of its priorities and has published strong privacy principles that guide us throughout all product development cycles. These privacy principles include, as top priorities, respect for user’s privacy, being transparent about data collection, and taking the utmost care with respecting the protection of users’ data, and they have ensured that good data governance is at the core of Google.

Before we dive into the specifics of data governance and management at Google, it is crucial to understand the motivations behind Google’s data collection, and the use case. This is a good approach for any undertaking. Google provides access to search results and videos and presents advertisements alongside the search results. Google’s income (while more diversified than a few years ago) is largely attributable to ads.

Given the importance of ads, a large portion of the effort in Google is focused on making ads relevant. Google does this by collecting data about end users, indexing this data, and personalizing the ads served for each user.

Google is transparent about this information: ...

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