The Role of a Data Governance Leader in Hong Kong

Data governance programs involve many people — employees, customers, partners and anyone who relies on your company’s information. Even if your actual data governance team is small, you need to identify and communicate its key goals, responsibilities and processes across your organization. A strategic vision and business case are great ways of accomplishing this – the former provides broad strategic objectives while the latter details tangible results and returns on investment.

Data sovereignty is of vital concern to many organizations, particularly in Hong Kong where the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance (“PDPO”) contains stringent regulations concerning any transfer of personal data outside its territory. As per PDPO requirements, one key obligation a data user owes a data subject is informing him/her on or prior to collecting their personal information about what purpose(s) and parties it will be shared with. This obligation extends to transfers among companies as well.

PDPO requires that information is presented in an easy and accessible manner upon request, with personal data defined broadly to include any material which identifies an individual – this could include photographs, CCTV recordings and records of people entering car parks for instance.

Data Governance Leaders are vital members of any team, helping coordinate tasks for data stewards and communicating decisions made by them. A leader should possess both business and IT experience so as to serve as a mediator between them – senior business analysts or enterprise architects are ideal candidates.

A strong data governance leader should be able to oversee ongoing data audits and metrics that measure the success of your program and track ROI. They should act as primary liaison with executive sponsors and steering committees, while simultaneously creating an organizational structure to support your governance program by assigning responsibility using RACI (responsible, accountable, consulted and informed) matrixes – this ensures the appropriate people are involved in key activities and can escalate any issues quickly to appropriate parties.