There are many key personnel who help define and ensure data governance within the organization. But among these people, none is as crucial as the data steward role.
As the name implies, the data steward is the one who is concerned with taking care of data assets, particularly the ones belonging to the organization as a whole. Data Stewards advocate the concerns of others when it comes to matters relating to data, ensuring on their behalf that any conflicts or issues related to the treatment of data in the organization are resolved in a satisfactory manner.
Given these responsibilities, the data steward would have a lot of things on their plate that they need to attend to on any given day. Oftentimes, these include but are not limited to the following tasks:
Oversee management of selected data assets
Participate in data governance and carry out decisions
Assist in the creation and maintenance of data dictionaries and metadata
Document rules, standards, procedures, and changes
Ensure data quality and manage specific issues
Communicate appropriate use and changes
Manage access and security
The data steward is also expected to use a variety of tools to help them in their work. An example of such a tool is Power BI which models the data in such a way that It becomes more accessible and usable for internal stakeholders and for clients as well.
Continuous-improvement skills are also a vital part of the role to help deliver consistent data quality and identify ways to enhance the presentation of data to the different stakeholders.
Effective communication is also a vital skill for the data steward for more effective collaboration with multiple teams and stakeholders.
An opportunity for development
Being a data steward not only involves taking on different responsibilities but also entails the opportunity to work autonomously and with a team. For many data stewards, this is one of the rewards of taking on such a role as it brings a more balanced aspect to their professional development, allowing them to adapt and thrive in different work environments while taking on different skills and responsibilities that make them vital to the growth of any organization.