Press Release

Regulations, Cybersecurity, and On-going Digitalization Push Data Governance to the Fore as a Client Concern

With the growing importance of data as a business asset, companies are increasingly discovering that projects that begin with issues like data privacy or IP end up focusing on data governance

New York, NY, January 11th – A new report from Compass Pacesetter Research (previously known as ALM Intelligence Pacesetter Research) finds that a growing number of business problems have data dimensions, and all too often poor data governance is a primary culprit. This, in turn, has forced professional services providers (lawyers, consultants, technologists, boutiques, multiservice professionals) to incorporate and strengthen data governance hygiene services in their portfolios. So while it is common for client projects to begin with compliance or security issues, they typically end with a data governance framework redesign. 

This research has also found that how clients think about data governance reflects their relative level of digital maturity. Many still view data governance as merely the process and rules layer of data management in which unseen landmines lay hidden with potential consequences for compliance regimes, risk profiles, and the customer experience. However, some see advantage in well-designed and managed data governance frameworks. 

“As organizations come to recognize the critical business value of data and the importance of timely, accurate data in making informed decisions, it quickly becomes apparent that effective data governance frameworks can be a differentiating factor in their business strategy,” said Tomek Jankowski, Director of Compass Pacesetter Research.

Key trends identified in this research include:

  • An increasingly aggressive regulatory environment, coupled with the ever-evolving cybersecurity threat have put data governance front-and-center for most organizations (companies, associations, non-profits, governments, etc.) but the constant exponential expansion of the volume of data flowing through organizations each day, as well as equally expanding diversity of data sources for organizations also means that organizations in 2023 are fundamentally data enterprises for whom effective data governance is mission-critical
  • Major tripping points in data governance that sabotage success are undue complexity, rigid or static structures, the lack of a single (enterprise-wide) view of data in the organization’s data ecosystem, the lack of end-user input in model design, poor stewardship design, the lack of a clear data lifecycle strategy (e.g., when to delete data), and getting full buy-in from all impacted employees
  • Chief Data Officers are a fairly new role for many organizations, and many are shifting their focus from risk management and data architecture to ensuring data helps drive growth and actively supports business strategy
  • Effective data governance is not a static system but requires constant human input and active management – a realization that many professional services Innovators, from boutiques to law firms, are beginning to address in their offerings


In this report, Compass Pacesetter Research evaluates the innovation in Data Governance capabilities and offerings of the following providers: 3Cloud, Accenture; Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff; Boston Consulting Group, Cooley, Deloitte, Eviden, EY, FTI Consulting, Kenway Consulting, KPMG, Morrison Foerster, Oliver Wyman, PwC, Redgrave, Trianz, and Winston & Strawn.

The Pacesetter Advisory Council assessed dozens of providers to arrive at nineteen Innovators. The research and analysis also provide insights into the competitive dynamics and service delivery trends driving convergence across legal, management consulting, multi-service, environmental engineering, technology, and insurance providers. Compass Pacesetter Research provides independent, objective research to providers and buyers of professional services and practical insights that inform decision-making processes. 

To learn more about the research or to obtain the full version of the Data Governance report, visit

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