how to get into data governance

How to Get Into Data Governance in 2024? (step by step)

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If you want to start a career in data governance, and you’re not sure how to achieve this, you’re in the right place. We’ve written a guide that’s aimed to help you gain clarity and hopefully help you get closer to your goals.

Data governance salary: Why you should get into data governance

Data governance professionals are highly paid with a range from 100.000$ – 145.000$ / year.

If you want to get a job in Data Governance, companies might ask you to have some previous experience in this field.

But even if you haven’t worked in a specific “data governance” role, no worries, then any experience in business analysis, project management, chain management background, and IT roles (reporting, analytics, data architecture) will help you.

If you’re new to these areas, try to get some experience with data analysis, before applying for pure data governance roles.

What is data governance? (in simple words)

Data governance is a process that starts with a mix of data discovery to understand all the different data assets one has across an entire organization.

Next in this process comes data classification, and deciding through policies, strict rules, guidelines, and standards what to do with the data (keep, delete, modify, etc).

Another important part of data governance is creating a  “ data catalog” which is basically metadata that will help define all the data assets within the organization. This will enable automation opportunities.

How do you start a career in data governance?

1. Start with data management basics

Learn about data management (umbrella of data governance). Get the DAMA-DMBOK (Data Management Body of Knowledge).

It offers an overview of how data governance meets data management areas like:

  • Data Architecture
  • Data Modeling & Design
  • Data Storage & Operations
  • Data Security
  • Data Integration & Interoperability
  • Document & Content Management
  • Reference & Master Data
  • Data Warehousing & Business Intelligence
  • Metadata
  • Data Quality

2. Read books and enroll in courses

There are some great books on data governance and each one focus on different aspects that together can help you become a master in this topic. 

You might like this guide we wrote about the best data governance books to read.

3. Join a professional DAMA Association

It’s a great idea to join a community where you can network with like-minded people who are professionals and worked already on many data governance projects.

You can join clubs in your country or in big cities around your area, by looking at the list provided by Global Data Management Community (DAMA International).

If you cannot attend their meetings in person, you can join them online.

Usually, they’ll bring experts in the industry from whom you can learn the best practices.

4. Attend meetups and conferences

Attending other data-related meetups is also beneficial. You can find local professionals and expand your network.

Plus, many companies looking for data people are organizing these types of events to find the right people to hire.

So, it can only be a great thing to attend these meetings: networking and job opportunities that start with simple conversations like “Oh, I’m actually recruiting for..”

5. Gain industry knowledge

Data governance is not only about data, it’s about knowing the ins and outs of the business/field you’re about to work in.

We highly recommend you study the business and the industry you want to get in. 

What skills are needed for data governance

In short, you’ll also need the following skills:

  1. Public speaking skills
  2. Presentation skills
  3. Business knowledge (to evaluate the impact on data assets)
  4. Data Architecture
  5. Database / Warehouse design and management
  6. Analytical skills (SQL / Python / R) – at least the basics
  7. Strategic Thinking
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