5 main reasons to leverage a data governance maturity model

George Firican
4 min readNov 19, 2021


A data governance maturity model is a sought after tool as it brings quite a few benefits which could be placed in the following 5 buckets:

1. Regulation

Sometimes there might be a regulatory oversight that requires a minimum level of maturity in data governance. To be fair, a regulatory body won’t point to your organization and say “it needs to be at level 4 or else you will be fined”. No it won’t, but in order to comply with certain regulations you need to have certain policies and procedures in place, organization-wide awareness and education on certain data privacy and security issues, you might need to have certain data classified, have established ownership over data domains and systems and so on.

Well, the model can give you the pathway or the gaps you need to address in order to get there, to get to that required maturity.

2. Organizational change

How many company acquisitions and mergers go through a data governance maturity assessment? Not enough. Why? Because these mergers and acquisition present quite a few data governance and management challenges. One needs to know, preferably as soon as possible, what these challenges are and how they can be addressed. That’s why it’s good to employ a data governance maturity model assessment for both organizations and see how they stack up against each other.

Perhaps there is something that your company needs to improve or learn from the other company or the other way around. Either way, you want to align them and keep track of those challenges and risks that you might run into once you start combining the data and the data management environments.

3. Benchmark

There might be a reason that you want to benchmark parts of the data governance or data management program against different units and locations. Especially if the company is a multi-national. By definition it would have a presence in multiple countries or a presence in the same country, but in multiple locations. Regardless, its data governance and data management program could differ from one location to another, with potential differences in maturity between them. In those cases you would want to benchmark these different instances against each other to understand which ones are leading and which ones are lagging in their data governance and data management practices.

Even for a mid-tier organization, if it is following a decentralized operating model, there will also be different data governance program pieces that would need to be benchmarked against each other for the same reasons as those stated above.

Lastly, there’s benchmark capabilities against peer organizations. This may allow further rationalization of acquiring tools, skills or organizational roles. If you see that you are at a lower level than your competitor or what the average is for that industry, this can provide you with a good business case to gain more support from upper-management to invest in data management and data governance programs. This could be the evidence you need to secure more funding.

If you’d like to learn all there is to know about Data Governance Maturity Models and best practices, please check-out this Data Governance Maturity Model(s) online course available right now (including BONUS content).

4. Strategy

Even though the maturity model doesn’t provide a plan, it provides the necessary insights to build an actionable strategic plan that is grounded in understanding the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, (i.e. S.W.O.T.) while following best practices. It also helps prioritize the parts of the data management or data governance programs that should be tackled first.

At times, improving or even starting a data governance program might seem like you need to boil the ocean. There are a lot of areas to address, a lot of fires to put out, and a lot of possibilities on where you can start building and improving. The maturity model can provide you with a direction on how to get from one level, to the next. It feeds into your strategy for kick-starting a data governance program or for improving the one already in place.

5. Communication

As you can extrapolate from the above benefits, the data governance maturity model can be a good tool to track progress, but also communicating it. It can help the data governance lead generate a view of accomplishments and a way to showcase achievements & progression. As I continuously state in my articles and videos, communication is key to the success and adoption of a data governance program. Any tool that can help with that is welcomed and a data governance maturity model definitely brings in that aid.


So these are the 5 main reasons and benefits of leveraging a data governance maturity model. What else would you add? Did you use one before? Are you planning on using one? Regardless, it never hurts to learn more about them.



George Firican

Data governance & BI professional, ranked among Top 5 Global Thought Leaders on Big Data, founder of LightsOnData.com and Co-Host of the Lights On Data Show.