Diversity Insight: Data governance strategies for promoting a more equitable work environment

Three best practices you can implement

Debates involving data governance typically center around issues of privacy. What user data can be shared? Who should it be shared with? How do we keep our private data secure? These are uniquely human concerns―ethical problems no machine was designed to solve.

Like all of us, the humans who design data systems are biased in some way. It’s easy to overlook the role of bias in digital data collection, but academics have been calling attention to the issue for decades. In 2022, experts in diversity, equity and inclusion serve a critical function: uncovering systemic biases and offering practical solutions for promoting and maintaining a more fair work environment.

The concerns of DEI and data governance rarely overlap on a practical level. Yet the disciplines have become intertwined, drawn together by various forces of a changing society. As technological advances freed organizations from the geographical constraints that historically limited their labor pools, offices became more diverse than ever. E-commerce tools connected producers and consumers around the globe. Simultaneously, the digitization of data systems accelerated. Privately held user data became more robust. The data needed to serve a wider range of people―people who increasingly spoke a different native language, practiced a different religion or lived in a different country from the original architects of the data system.

Now more than ever, applying DEI principles to data governance is paramount to an organization’s success. Here are a few basic best practices.


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