New data governance scheme to help SME owners

Data governance

A new independent data governance industry association, Data Governance Australia (DGA) has been launched at a breakfast panel, the Future of Data.

The new not-for-profit association will be chaired by former ACCC Chair and current Monash Business School Professor Graeme Samuel and comprises 12 founding board members from a cross-section of Australian industry, including major financial institutions, leading retailers, law firms, real estate corporations, airlines, and specialist data suppliers including technology, software and consulting service providers.

DGA will establish best practice industry standards and benchmarks around the collection, use and management of data in Australia. It will provide education, thought leadership and advocacy services to its members to promote and foster understanding of how data can be used responsibly to drive innovation and competitive advantage while complying with all regulatory requirements.

“Advances in data technology and capabilities have transformed the way that Australian businesses use, store and manage data over the last decade. Used effectively and managed responsibly, data can drive innovation, revenue growth and customer experience. However, in a world of almost infinite data storage and use, it is incumbent upon all sectors of industry to ensure that stringent self-regulation and best-practice is applied to retain consumer confidence and avoid heavy-handed federal regulation,” said Graeme Samuel, Chairman of the Board of DGA.

DGA will provide advocacy, education, support and thought leadership on all aspects of data usage and will operate alongside its sister associations ADMA, AIMIA and IAPA, all of which operate as separate associations, powered by a central expert team and resource base.

In a joint statement, Ms Jodie Sangster, CEO ADMA and Murray Hyde, GM DGA added “Data is driving whole of business strategies, not just media and marketing, and so the timing is right to launch an association on data governance to serve the whole spectrum of Australian business and not just their marketing function.”

Samuel stressed the benefits of the initiative for SME owners: “When dealing with privacy and data issues big corporations have lawyers and consultants to help them out, but small-business owners can’t afford these resources.”

He added that DGA will provide SMEs, at no cost, with a checklist with which they can assess their own data-management processes a stipulated benchmark.

“There is a danger of consultancy overreach if an SME hires a consultant, with the potential for small businesses being recommended far more than they need for their specific business,” he added. “These guidelines will enable them to check that they have the processes they need in place without the cost of spending more than they have to on additional administration.”

“The program will be launched in early 2017, once it has been through ACCC approval processes,” he concluded.

To find out more about DGA, visit

Inside Small Business