Information Governance, IT Governance, Data Governance: What's the Difference?

There has been a great deal of confusion around the term information governance (IG) and how it is distinct from other similar industry terms, such as information technology (IT) governance and data governance. They are all a subset of corporate governance, and in the above sequence, become increasingly more granular in their approach. Data governance is a part of broader IT governance, which is also a part of even broader information governance. The few texts that exist have compounded the confusion by offering a limited definition of IG, or sometimes offering a definition of IG that is just plain incorrect, often confusing it with simple data governance.

So in this chapter we spell out the differences and include examples in hopes of clarifying what the meaning of each term is and how they are related.

Data Governance

Data governance involves processes and controls to ensure that information at the data level—raw alphanumeric characters that the organization is gathering and inputting—is true and accurate, and unique (not redundant). It involves data cleansing (or data scrubbing) to strip out corrupted, inaccurate, or extraneous data and de-duplication, to eliminate redundant occurrences of data.

Data governance focuses on information quality from the ground up at the lowest or root level, so that subsequent reports, analyses, and conclusions are based on clean, reliable, trusted data (or ...

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