The confluence of business, social, and technological changes have increased the need for data governance.  Some of the major factors behind the increasing need for data governance are:  the acceleration of computing power; decreasing cost of data storage; proliferation of cloud services; the mobility of the workforce; and, the accelerated demand of organizational leaders to include data and analysis in the decision-making process.

As the information revolution empowers individuals in their personal lives, it complicates traditional, centralized management structures.  Data governance is particularly challenging for large organizations, such as universities, hospitals, and governmental entities, because the traditional organizational structure has difficulty controlling the flow of data and information.  Just as in the governmental sphere where lawmakers and judges seek to update outmoded legal frameworks, universities are similarly adapting their governance structures, policies, and procedures to ensure organizational effectiveness in a de-centralized environment.