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Mastering E-commerce data governance: Best practices, challenges, and future trends for quality, compliance, and growth

  • John Lee 

Data governance is more important than ever in e-commerce, where massive amounts of data are generated and processed daily. Big Data presents opportunities and challenges for e-commerce businesses, requiring a strategic approach to data quality, security, and compliance. This article discusses e-commerce data governance best practices, including understanding data governance, data quality, data security, compliance with regulations, tools, challenges, case studies, and future trends.

Data governance in e-commerce ensures quality data-driven decisions, risk management, and compliance. Businesses rely on data governance to manage and use data. Data governance tools that are both automated and intelligent are utilized in the process of inventorying and categorizing data. Data stewards are subject-matter experts appointed after data is organized and policies are created to manage its use.

E-commerce data governance is important. For decisions to be made in a timely and accurate manner, high-quality data is absolutely necessary. Governance is essential for compliance and security because e-commerce platforms collect sensitive consumer data.

What is data governance?

Let’s dispel some data governance myths before learning more. Data governance is different from data lineage, MDM, or stewardship, but they are often used together. Terms are part of data governance practice, but not everything.

What’s data governance? Data governance involves formally managing an organization’s data and extracting value from it through people, processes, and technology to simplify and automate. Consider data security. The most valuable asset that a company possesses is its confidential information. Data must be secured and protected for confidentiality and legitimate access. People should help determine data access restrictions. This task is simplified and automated by identity management systems and permission management. Data stewards and security analysts cannot reconcile, classify, or integrate new data with existing data as the speed and volume of data increase, especially in the age of big data. Many companies store new data in a holding cell and classify it later. Luckily, your company doesn’t have to do this. Technology providers classify data as it arrives or soon after to solve such problems. These technologies meet authorization requirements and provide quick data access, reducing time to insight.

The importance of data governance

Data governance has only become important recently. It didn’t arrive alone. Events led to it. Data breaches have made data governance a priority for IT professionals.

GDPR and CCPA stem from these beaches and data privacy concerns. These are restricting how organizations use, manage, and collect personal data. Organizations use data governance frameworks to manage data due to breaches and privacy laws.

Big data governance

Big data systems like Hadoop make data governance difficult. Organizations combine clusters with various purposes and data stores, such as files, tables, and streams. The approach violates data governance principles. Even with proper stitching and securing, gaps remain.

Solved by converged architecture systems. Converged architecture integrates subsystems into a single data repository for improved security and governance.

How data governance works in e-commerce

Businesses that participate in e-commerce collect data from a wide range of sources, such as web analytics, email and marketing tools, online transactions, surveys, and a variety of other sources. The stakeholders make use of this data after it has been consolidated. Providing these stakeholders with access to high-quality data is the result of data governance initiatives that have been correctly implemented.

Mastering E-commerce data governance: Best practices, challenges, and future trends for quality, compliance, and growth

Through the process of governing and integrating these data sources, e-commerce teams have the ability to gain actionable insights regarding customers, trends, products, regions, and other topics. These insights matter greatly:

  • Communicating consumer and market trends to gaps.
  • Better client retention and engagement.
  • Inventory, labor, and pricing optimization.
  • Informing innovation and opportunities in the market that have not yet been reached.

Why is data governance important for e-commerce companies?

E-commerce businesses that don’t have a data governance strategy could have data breaches, get fined by the government, and lose the trust of their customers. These companies also run the risk of losing customers. It is possible for both the growth of a business and the reputation of a shirt brand to suffer. It is therefore essential for e-commerce to have data governance.

Improving visibility, relevance, and consistency

E-commerce companies receive diverse data from digital outlets and advanced customer journeys. Information regarding inventory and purchases made by customers must be updated across all platforms. However, multiple teams often take responsibility, risking data silos and outdated data.

E-commerce businesses are able to better manage their distributed data with the assistance of an effective and unified data governance system. This system prevents data silos and keeps data relevant across platforms. Because of this, businesses have increased visibility to expand.

Mastering E-commerce data governance: Best practices, challenges, and future trends for quality, compliance, and growth

Limiting data exposure

E-commerce and retail stakeholders should share data seamlessly. Unrestricted data flow has the potential to improve workflow efficiency and reduce the number of data silos, but it also may present potential risks to safety and security. Still, security breaches involving private customer data often make customers less likely to trust a brand.

For the purpose of protecting sensitive information, data governance systems provide e-commerce shirt brands with the capability to implement two-factor authentication, data encryption, and tokenization, in that order. 

Dealing with data inconsistencies

E-commerce data warehouses may have inconsistencies. It is necessary to update all of the other repositories whenever a change is made in one repository. This process can become challenging and overwhelming when it is not coordinated properly.

Sales, revenues, productivity, and strategy are affected by inconsistent data. For the purpose of curating, modifying, and validating raw data, a robust data governance system makes use of process pipelines. Data visualization that is better and data analysis that is faster and more accurate can both help e-commerce companies. These benefits can be realized by businesses including jewelry wholesalers, that engage in e-commerce.

Conceptual framework and discussions 

Big Data governance is important. Data governance framework aids big data transitions. Organizations struggle with managing large amounts of data. Big Data governance solutions affect all businesses and operations right away. No governance, difficult Big Data management. Eight components make up the governance framework for big data. Organization structure, stakeholders, Big data scope, policies and standards, optimization and computation, quality measurement and monitoring, data storage, communication, and management. Proposed framework uses governance principles. Big Data governance has seven principles: organization, metadata, privacy, data quality, business process integration, master data integration, and information lifecycle management.

Mastering E-commerce data governance: Best practices, challenges, and future trends for quality, compliance, and growth

Org structure impacts Big Data governance choices. Organizational structure needs study. Goals and vision guide Big Data governance. Organization structure is included. Identifying Big Data governance stakeholders is crucial. Determine the scope of Big Data and check if the organization has defined its scope. Big Data processing tech issues. Establish policies, rules, and standards for data capture, management, consumption, privacy, security, risk, retention, regulatory compliance, and classification. 

Big Data governance includes data optimization, privacy, and realization. Verify if framed policies align with traditional system policies. Optimization and computation involve data acquisition and transformation. Orgs benefit from data analysis. Big Data quality measurement and monitoring is crucial. Fix inconsistent or invalid data in the analytics pipeline. Document every change from concept to visualization. Big Data governance improves quality. Cleaning data is necessary for analysis. 

Data needs preparation and analysis. Data is stored securely and accessible. Outputs are delivered to clients. Comparing BGF1–BGF12 studies to ISO 8000 data governance framework standard to find gaps. Table compares ISO 8000 standards with FR and PR. The BGF7 framework is unavailable for comparison.

Mastering E-commerce data governance: Best practices, challenges, and future trends for quality, compliance, and growth

Data governance best practices

1. Data management is not the same thing as data governance

Data management provides assistance to software frameworks for data governance. The decisions regarding data management are made by data governance.

2. Frameworks that are the result of collaborative efforts are the most efficient

Employees of the organization who are proficient in data management ought to play a pivotal role in the design of the framework in order to maximize the efficiency of the process.

3. There must be an integration of data governance across the entire organization

After the framework has been functionalized, implementing it throughout the organization will ensure that data collection is consistent, which will assist each team in accomplishing their objectives.

4. Risk indicators and benchmarks

Data is valuable, and when it is shared, it increases the risk that an organization faces. When risk milestones are established, potential risks will be brought to light, and costly breaches will be avoided.

5. Make consistent improvements

As your company expands, you should audit your data governance strategy to ensure that it continues to satisfy the requirements of both your customers and your organization.

Data ownership and accountability in data governance

The following reasons make data ownership crucial to data governance:

1. Accountability and decision-making

In order to establish accountability for data management and integrity, data ownership is necessary. A data set’s owner is responsible for its quality, accuracy, and regulatory compliance. It is possible to make decisions regarding data in a timely and efficient manner thanks to this accountability. Regarding the establishment of data ownership, I believe this to be the most significant reason. 

2. Data governance framework

A solid data governance framework starts with data ownership. It provides organizations with the authority to define and enforce data-related policies, standards, and processes, as well as the roles, responsibilities, and decision-making power to undertake these tasks. It is possible for data governance initiatives to become fragmented if there is a lack of clear data ownership, which can lead to inconsistent practices and problems with data management.

3. Data quality and integrity

Data quality and integrity depend on data ownership. The data owner is responsible for accuracy, completeness, and consistency when data ownership is clear. They want to protect data integrity by implementing data quality, validation, and governance measures.

4. Required compliance and regulation

Data ownership is closely related to regulatory compliance. By designating individuals as data owners, individuals are held accountable for comprehending and adhering to laws pertaining to data protection and privacy. Data owners can reduce data breaches and non-compliance risks by monitoring data usage, implementing security measures, and complying with laws.

Data governance through metadata management

By 2020, Gartner predicts 50% of information governance initiatives will use metadata-only policies. Metadata helps understand data (datasets and images), concepts (classification methods), and real-world entities.

Descriptive metadata describes sources for discovery and identification, structural metadata describes data models and reference data, and administrative metadata helps manage/monitor sources. For the purpose of data governance, numerous specifications and frameworks define metadata management.

Metadata management of the entire data infrastructure

ACS Solutions has built and integrated Hadoop clusters for several customers’ Business Intelligence infrastructures. We maintain and update those clusters for changing data flow needs.

Implementations begin with a few data sources, ingestion, transformation, and presentation requirements. As the company adds data sources, users, and applications, these requirements grow. These entities may be outside Hadoop infrastructure.

To ensure data consistency, integrity, and availability to authenticated/authorized users as data moves between systems, ACS Solutions uses Hortonworks Data Platform applications out of the box. We created a communication layer that lets Oracle, Cassandra, Kafka, and Hive exchange metadata governed by Apache Atlas.

The image above shows metadata management in data lakes, which source and receive data.

Atlas is a Hadoop-based open-source metadata repository. It can exchange metadata with SQL Server and Oracle, among other tools and processes, due to its flexibility.

In the dynamic realm of IT, the need for seamless customer support is paramount. Imagine being able to provide top-notch assistance to your clients from virtually anywhere, even while basking in the tranquility of a beach holiday. 

Ranger adds data governance features to Atlas using Tags and handles authentication, authorization, and auditing using cluster Kerberization and Apache Knox. Tags, like PII, can be placed on any field like SSN. We can use the governance infrastructure to control data movement and monitoring at the tag level.

Falcon supports data lifecycle management, compliance (lineage and audit), replication, and archiving. Dataflow integration/workflow suites are the fourth data governance pillar and may or may not be part of Hadoop infrastructure.

These create a complete system for a self-service data marketplace in the organization regardless of publisher and consumer numbers. It will enable the data-driven organization to adapt to changing vocabularies, taxonomies, and coding schemes.

Compliance with Data Regulations in E-commerce

Understanding data privacy regulations

To comply with GDPR and CCPA, e-commerce businesses must stay informed. Avoiding legal issues and maintaining customer trust requires understanding these regulations.

Data governance policies and documentation

Comprehensive data governance policies that comply with regulations are essential. Auditing and compliance check processes are documented for accountability and transparency.

Training and awareness programs

Training teams on data privacy and compliance is ongoing. Regular training helps employees understand their roles and changing data protection laws.

What are the benefits of data governance for e-commerce?

The importance of data governance as well as the difficulties that it presents are brought to light, but the benefits that it brings to e-commerce businesses are the positive effects and value that it brings. It is beneficial for e-commerce businesses to have data governance frameworks:

  • Overall performance: Data governance helps teams find accurate data and gain insights faster.
  • The monitoring of data quality metrics exhibits the utilization of data by both the team and the stakeholders.
  • Improved understanding of the business world to include: E-commerce businesses are able to identify areas of weakness, gain a competitive advantage, and find new revenue streams due to their ability to acquire these capabilities.
  • When properly controlled, high-quality data enables individuals to make decisions quickly and accurately while still protecting their privacy and complying with regulations.
  • Ownership of data, responsibility for data, and accountability for data: E-commerce teams are informed by data governance about whom they should consult for data issues.

Employing data governance in e-commerce

When it comes to e-commerce, data governance is everything. E-commerce businesses will be in a better position to take advantage of new opportunities, increased customer confidence and security, increased sales, and growth if they implement an efficient data governance solution.

Businesses that engage in e-commerce will be able to establish and maintain data governance with the assistance of best practices for data governance, which will also position them for growth.

Future Trends in E-commerce Data Governance

AI and ML in data governance

Future technology combines AI for predictive data quality and ML for security and compliance automation. These technologies will support proactive and intelligent data governance.

Blockchain for transparent and secure transactions

Blockchain technology could make e-commerce transactions secure and transparent. In data governance, it can improve supply chain traceability, transparency, and trust.


E-commerce relies on data governance for quality decisions, risk management, and compliance. It involves classifying, organizing, and creating data usage policies. E-commerce requires it due to consumer data sensitivity. Data governance enables actionable insights, customer engagement, and operations optimization. Companies risk data breaches, regulatory fines, and trust loss without it. Improvements include performance, data quality, and informed decision-making. Future trends include AI/ML integration and blockchain for transparent transactions, emphasizing the need for strong e-commerce data governance.