A Data Steward is the person designated within your company to be responsible for the quality and usability of all data within the organization.
In order for this person to be effective – and to reap the benefits of creating such a position – the following guidelines should be in place:
- Your Data Steward must have access to continuing education to ensure their expertise in all aspects of data quality.
- This person should have free and unfettered access to all people involved in the company-wide data flow, from the creators to the end users of the data.
- Give your Data Steward managerial status to implement data quality initiatives. This could involve other departments such as sales, fulfillment, IT, and so forth.
- Provide full support from the C-Level executives above the Data Steward.
- Allocate the appropriate amount of time to do this job properly.
- Data Stewardship should not be an “afterthought” in the organization.
- The Data Steward should have the means to petition for a budget as needed.
Creating the position of Data Steward in your company will take time and resources. Look at your data like any other vital business asset. If you had a fleet of trucks, you’d have a chief mechanic. If you had 10,000 cattle, you’d have a veterinarian. Your data also requires regular tune-ups and constant attention to ensure its good health. So, like a chief mechanic or large animal vet, your Data Steward can be essential to the smooth running of your business.