Data Steward Principles

Data Steward Principles

StockSnap_RGRCNHCEYG_SigningAgreement_DataStewardPrinciples_BPFor folks identified as data stewards there are a few principles you should follow which are: being helpful, being a problem solver, being a creator, being a protector and being positive.  Data stewardship is an important part of data governance and thus an important part of the success of the organization.  A key part of data governance is helping people and the data stewards are the team that assists others with data governance and management.

Let’s dive deeper into these principles:

  • Be Helpful – Make it easy for data users to use the organization’s data and to understand your data. Create pathways that users can use such as communication channels or one-page training materials or explanatory materials.  Maintain quality of the data using customer feedback, concerns, questions; internally reporting metrics; evaluating and identifying issues; and coordinating and implementing corrections regularly.  Share best practices in data use.  Provide insight into how and where teams can use data to help in day-to-day decision-making.  Ensure that information meets customer needs.
  • Be Problem Solver - Identify root causes of issues and manage resolutions. When data users escalate their data issues to you (they may or may not frame them articulately), it's your job to see patterns.  Recognize when multiple individuals come to you saying slightly different things but talking about a single problem in your organization.  Gather those threads into a single narrative and then resolve the issue that's at the root of that narrative.
  • Be a Creator – Data governance necessitates content and processes to be successful and the data stewards are the creators of this content and processes. Take the information that is your head and get it down electronically so that others may use it.  Think self-service.  As other people interact with a business glossary or a data dictionary, they may see different perspectives that will warrant changes which the data steward needs to be involved in.  Create processes along with access controls to monitor adherence.  Maintain standards in the data governance content so that they're written consistently and of a good quality that can be used.
  • Be a Protector - Ensure compliance and security of the data including access (internal and external) to the data. Data stewards are responsible for protecting the data of the organization, while providing information on potential risks and offering regulatory guidance.  As a data steward you must take into consideration things like privacy, HIPAA, credit card information, security, FOIA, GDPR and CCPA that could impact how your data is used.  Raise the flag if a major issue is found.
  • Be Positive - Keep a positive attitude as you receive data issues and hear many complaints. Listen and resolve issues quickly or escalate them to others if necessary.  Data stewards are the face to an organization’s data governance, build the data-focused culture and are advocates for the proper use of data.

Data stewardship is a key component of data governance.  And to be successful the data stewards must follow the following principles: being helpful, being a problem solver, being a creator, being a protector and being positive.  Hope this blog post help and would love to hear how your data stewardship efforts are going.

Hope this blog post was beneficial to you and your organization.  IData has a solution, the Data Cookbook, that can aid the employees and the institution in its data governance, data stewardship and data quality initiatives. IData also has experts that can assist with data governance, reporting, integration and other technology services on an as needed basis. Feel free to contact us and let us know how we can assist.

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Jim Walery
About the Author

Jim Walery is a marketing professional who has been providing marketing services to technology companies for over 20 years and specifically those in higher education since 2010. Jim assists in getting the word out about the community via a variety of channels. Jim is knowledgeable in social media, blogging, collateral creation and website content. He is Inbound Marketing certified by HubSpot. Jim holds a B.A. from University of California, Irvine and a M.A. from Webster University. Jim can be reached at jwalery[at]

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