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Part-time data stewards can enrich data governance programs – no, it’s required!

by Andrew White  |  June 12, 2014  |  3 Comments

I saw an email today with this in the title from TechTarget.  Here is the link to the page in question.  The article opens with the following question: Does a data governance program need full-time data stewards to succeed?  I’d like to answer the question and revise the article title.

Yes, information governance REQUIRES the involvement of information stewards.  That was easy.

Yes, by definition information stewardship should be part-time, or to be precise, an active role taken on by business oriented end-users.  That too was easy.

If an organization has “full time information stewards” it is most likely that the name, “information steward” is being abused.  The role is concerned with monitoring, problem solving and enforcing of information governance policy.  It is NOT about data entry or data maintenance.  It is NOT about matching and merging records.  That stuff takes place as part of normal day to day operations, or should.

Far too many end user organizations are naming normal business users of applications as data stewards.  If we continue to do this we will need to come up with a new name for the role that is needed.  For example, and this is an estimate only, for every 10 normal application business users you might need 1 information steward.

For more, see 13 Minutes a Week – What your Information Stewards Should be doing.

Category: chief-data-officer  information-governance  information-management  information-organization  information-stewardship  

Andrew White
Research VP
8 years at Gartner
22 years IT industry

Andrew White is a Distinguished Analyst and VP. His roles include Chief of Research and Content Lead for Data and Analytics. His main research focus is data and analytics strategy, platforms, and governance. Read Full Bio

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