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Data Stewardship and its Relation to Data Governance

In a previous article, we learned what data governance is about and its importance to the organization insofar as how it approaches data in all aspects.

We also learned that one of the key elements that make or break the organization’s data governance efforts is the “group” which pertains to one of the different bodies within the organization that support data governance. The leadership would be one of those groups. But equally as important, if not more so, is another group tasked with an important function: data stewardship.


Data stewardship refers to the implementation of the strategies and guidelines on data that were established by the organization during the data governance stage. Because of this, data stewardship is a crucial element in the success of a company’s data governance efforts.

In essence, data stewardship is a matter of accountability and responsibility for data and processes that ensure effective data management. Such accountability and responsibility fall into the hands of the data stewards.

As a job title, being a data steward may be considered a formal title or can be an additional role on top of their regular jobs. Either way, the role is indispensable as data stewards are basically “data ambassadors” between the data team and the user community, with the ultimate goal of empowering users with the knowledge of how to treat data.

In addition, the Data Governance Institute defines the role of data stewardship further as advocating the concerns of others in the matter of data management, whether it is on behalf of the entire organization or a particular business unit, department, or any other group within the organization.

The relationship between data governance and data stewardship in the real world

To further illustrate the value of data stewardship in data governance, here are a few examples:

  • Data architecture refers to the models, policies, rules, and standards governing data collection and how it is stored, arranged, integrated, and used in data systems. Data stewardship is crucial in part in guiding how data flows across the organization.

  • Data stewardship is a key process in the data curation process, contributing to the formulation of an end-to-end process of preparing and managing data so that it is ready for business use.

  • Data stewards often oversee the creation and maintenance of an organization’s data glossary, which helps users understand the key terms in the organization’s data vocabulary.

  • Data governance frameworks build upon data architecture to encompass all the people, processes, technologies, and workflows needed to support governance and guide how data stewards make decisions.


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