Horizon Governance: An Introduction
Data Governance is in incredibly important part of maintaining any organisation's data environment. Poor data governance costs companies an average of 12% of their annual revenue, and a key element of poor governance is the lack of understanding towards the location and lineage of data.
Built with this in mind, the Horizon Governance software is a comprehensive and highly-configurable framework which allows organisations to document, manage and control all aspects of data governance across numerous systems. The software is part of the IntoZetta Horizon Software Suite, and operates as a single repository for data governance which allows holistic control over all aspects of an organisation’s data dictionary, lineage and quality.
This blog post will outline these features and more, including a portal for the storage of data policies and procedures, a log for the reception and completion of data subject requests and a facility for the appointment and regulation of various levels of data ownership within an organisation. Horizon Governance is fully configurable and able to align with pre-existing organisational structures.
A primary feature of Horizon Governance is it's capability of acting as an all-encompassing data dictionary and monitor associated any security or privacy risks. Within this feature, we can create, configure and edit the system’s data glossary by defining the global standard for thousands of data attributes. These attributes can be easily organised and understood by utilising easy-to-read matrices which contain information such as security and risk levels, data types and character limitations. Editing the attributes allows us to modify explanatory information such as attribute ID, name and description as well as security and categorisation data, such as grouping and risk ratings and whether are not there are consent issues involved with the data collection. Within this feature, we can also specify the valid attribute lengths and format, as well as mark data for non-personal, personal, or sensitive data categorisation. In addition, we can record whether or not data subject consent is required for the collection or processing of the attribute data. Once the global definitions have been outlined for the new attribute, we can then delineate the specific systems on which the data attribute is stored. We can also clarify data standards, insert data quality validation rules, and set up data flows in order to allocate attributes to particular cross-system pathways.
The Horizon Governance software allows for complete understanding of the lifecycle of an organisation’s data and visualisation of data lineage through our intuitive data flow charts. Once the master data location and data flow directions have been defined within the data dictionary, users can view dynamic and interactive charts which highlight the lifecycle of data and allow for a deeper understanding of data lineage. The inbound, outbound and bidirectional flow of data from various systems can be easily aligned to any organisation’s specific structure thanks to the high level of the software's configurability.
The software allows organisations to designate and customise data ownership details which are aligned to internal hierarchical structures. These details include timeframes within which the individual is a member of the selected ownership role, and their current role status, e.g. their training level or approval status. We understand that different organisations may have a different lexicon or hierarchical structure for data ownership, which is why all terminology and values can be customised Furthermore, this facility can be used to attribute roles and tasks to data owners and record the progression, priority and status of such tasks with intuitive and comprehensive customisation. Sub-tasks can be delegated and assigned to other users, with full descriptions of the steps involved and the capability to track deadlines and job statuses.
Data protection and security is at the heart of Horizon Governance. The toolset has been built in alignment with GDPR legislation, and contains many built-in functions which let organisations monitor and control their GDPR compliance with ease. The “Data Subject Requests” section of the Software has been developed for companies to be able to record and track the progress of the various types of requests the GDPR allows data subjects to make. Organisations can record the type of request that has been made, e.g. access, erasure, rectification, as well as record the communication types, assigned staff members, and time limits. The latter function is especially useful for the introduction of GDPR, as the new legislation brings in stricter turnaround times for the response to data subject requests.
Also contained within Horizon Governance is a portal for the recording and tracking of any occurrences which could affect the security of the data environment, i.e. data breaches. Configurable “event types” include site hacks and data loss situations and can be assigned to individuals in charge of following proceedings. The GDPR brings in new legislation which adds requirements for auditable records of data breaches, as well as time constraints for data subjects to be informed of any breaches affecting their data. With this in mind, the Events portal within the software allows users to log action dates as well as record the activity status for any necessary proceedings.
Documentation of privacy and data security policies are something of a hot topic, what with the introduction of the GDPR meaning that all of our email inboxes have been inundated with notifications of policy changes. As frustrating as this may be from a consumer perspective, the documentation of and adherences to privacy and security policies is extremely important to all organisations which handle personal data, and neglecting to adhere to these policies can have severe repercussions. This is why the Horizon Governance software includes a portal which acts specifically as a single repository for organisational data policies and procedures. Users are able to upload documents or attach URL links to policies, and record any related information, such as version updates and detailed editing history.
Horizon Governance is very easy to implement within any organisation thanks to our mass data upload capability. This will allow users to effortlessly transfer information from their current organisational data environment to software within minutes. The upload tool is compatible with Excel and can be configured to other programs that may be in use by the organisation. The Software can be deployed on-premise or it can be hosted on the cloud and, as with all software within the Data Solutions Suite, it has been designed for cross-platform functionality, meaning you can access and use Horizon Governance from any device.