Today, businesses deal with a vast amount of data every day. But they need help to use their data accurately, consistently, and safely to make better business decisions. Businesses need data stewardship to help them improve the quality of the data they have in their repository.
While data governance focuses on high-level policies and procedures, the data steward oversees tactical coordination and implementation. A data steward is an interface between users and IT departments to help manage an organization’s data.
This guide explains what data stewardship is and why it is important. It also goes into detail about its responsibilities.
What is data stewardship?
Data Stewardship is a critical part of Data Governance. It is the assignment of specific roles and responsibilities within an organization to keep an eye on the projects of an Executive Steering Committee.
These are usually put into a set of best practices and new policies, and it is the job of the data steward to implement them. It includes:
- Figuring out what information an organization has
- Figuring out where that information is stored
- Making sure that the data can be found, used, is safe, and can be trusted
- Keeping track of the truth and accuracy of data lineage
- Putting rules in place about how data can be used
- Using the organization’s data to give it a competitive edge
- Moving toward a culture that is driven by data
- Promoting data that can be trusted
Importance of data stewardship
Data stewardship directly affects the quality of the data. Companies need good data to make good decisions. So, data stewardship is important to your organization in many ways. Now, we will discuss the importance of it below:
- A data steward manages and coordinates everything that affects the quality and accuracy of data. This job is especially important when dealing with mission-critical or sensitive customer data that needs to be kept from falling into the wrong hands.
- As the value of data as an asset continues to rise exponentially, organizations are under more and more pressure to keep data safe, secure, consistent, and high-quality. Because of this, demand for data stewards is skyrocketing across all industries.
- When data isn’t updated appropriately, it can lead a company in the wrong direction, which is bad for business. Data stewards have authority and are responsible for the organization’s data. Employees can’t log in and get information without the data steward’s permission.
- Data stewardship is a position of trust, and a company’s technical teams and business professionals must have complete faith in their data steward. They are the link between data experts and those who use the data.
- Data stewards protect data from regulatory and reputational risks. They are the main people who use data for strategic advantage. They are constantly working on teaching users how to use data well and make better business decisions.
- When there are good data stewards at work, employees do better. Data stewards do all this while following rules and policies for data governance. They are very important because they work at all company levels to keep data as efficient and effective as possible.
Data stewardship responsibilities
The roles and responsibilities of a data steward can change depending on how developed an organization’s data program is. There are four main areas of work that data stewardship is responsible for. The following will include a discussion on them.
Overseeing data life cycle
One of the most essential things a data steward does is keep an eye on how data changes over time. In particular, the data stewards’ job is to develop and implement policies and procedures for the day-to-day operational and administrative management of systems and data.
As part of being in charge of institutional data, the data steward is responsible for defining data and terms and writing them down in a glossary. It includes taking in data, storing it, processing it, and sending it to internal and external systems. It means ensuring that every critical data piece has a clear definition and is still being used.
Responsible for establishing data-quality
Data stewards are ultimately responsible for setting data quality metrics and requirements, such as the acceptable values, ranges, and parameters for each data element. They also work with the team to set up procedures for finding and fixing problems with data quality.
They also work together to set up policies, procedures, and internal controls that affect data quality. Data stewards also do detailed data quality evaluations regularly, look for anomalies and discrepancies, and share their knowledge to figure out what went wrong and fix it.
Data steward is the protection of data
Data protection is one of the more difficult tasks for people who are in charge of data. To be effective, the data steward must put together requirements for keeping, archiving, and getting rid of data and ensure they align with institutional policy and rules. They should always set up rules and protocols to spread data to ensure that privacy controls are used in all processes.
So, the data steward will set up and use data curation practices to ensure that the data’s life span is in line with requirements. But data stewards must protect data while striking a balance between privacy and openness.
Data stewards provide the rules and processes for data access.
Data stewardship sets up the rules and procedures for accessing data, such as the criteria for allowing access based on a person’s role or the person themselves. Stewards analyze any suspected or actual breaches in confidentiality, integrity, or availability and report them to management or information security personnel.
We learned about data stewardship and its importance. We discussed the responsibilities of a data steward as well. Data stewards involve a lot of people from different departments and roles, especially as more types of employees are given access to sensitive information. That’s why it’s important to have a clear plan for managing your business’s data.
We hope you now understand data stewardship and how it can help your company stay competitive.
Want your business to have good data stewardship? See how QuestionPro can help you with this process. QuestionPro has all the tools that researchers need. It enables you to figure out how to use your data.