Data Steward

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A steward is a person whose job it is to manage the property of another person.[1] Data Stewards manage data assets on behalf of others and in the best interests of the organization (McGilvray, 2008)[2]. Data Stewards represent the interests of all stakeholders and must take an enterprise perspective to ensure enterprise data is of high quality and can be used effectively. Effective Data Stewards are accountable and responsible for data governance activities.

Depending on the complexity of the organization and the goals of its data governance program, formally appointed Data Stewards may be differentiated by their place within an organization, by the focus of their work, or by both. For example:

  • Chief Data Stewards may chair data governance bodies in lieu of the CDO or may act as a CDO in a virtual (committee-based) or distributed data governance organization. They may also be Executive Sponsors.
  • Executive Data Stewards are senior managers who serve on a Data Governance Council.
  • Enterprise Data Stewards have oversight, of a data domain across business functions.
  • Business Data Stewards are business professionals, most often recognized subject matter experts (SMEs), accountable for a subset of data. They work with stakeholders to define and control data.
  • Data Owners are Business Data Stewards who have approval authority for decisions about data within their domain.
  • Technical Data Stewards are IT professionals operating within one of the Knowledge Areas, such as Data Integration Specialists, Database Administrators, Business Intelligence Specialists, Data Quality Analysts or Metadata Administrators.
  • Coordinating Data Stewards lead and represent teams of Business and Technical Data Stewards in discussions across teams and with executive Data Stewards. Coordinating Data Stewards are particularly important in large organizations.

    See also: Data Stewardship
  1. DAMA-DMBOK2, 1.3.5 Types of Data Stewards, pgs. 76, 77
  2. Executing Data Quality Projects: Ten Steps to Quality Data and Trusted Information, Chapter 2; Key Concepts, pgs. 53, 54