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Data Governance Organization Roles and Responsibilities

Data Governance organizations are made up of a handful of specific Roles with well-defined Responsibilities. Each organization is formed a little differently. Here is a high-level look at the most common roles and responsibilities of a data governance organization.

Steering Committee

Profile of a Steering Committee member: The Steering Committee is made up of the executive leaders of an organization. Sometimes these are members of the C-Suite. Often, they are the Vice Presidents accountable for the specific lines of business that make up a Data Domain (i.e. Finance, Customer, or Materials).

Specific Accountabilities:

  • Set Overall Strategy with specific Outcomes

  • Champion the work of the Data Stewards

  • Eliminating barriers between business units

  • Providing support for the time spent on governance efforts

  • Hold the governance organization accountable to timelines and outcomes

Data Owner

Profile of a Data Owner: The Data Owner is accountable for the data within a specific Data Domain. They are responsible to ensure that information within their Domain is governed across systems and lines of business. Data Owners usually are part of the Steering Committee, either as voting or non-voting members.

Specific Accountabilities:

  • Approve data Glossaries and other data definitions

  • Ensure the accuracy of information as used across the Enterprise

  • Direct Data Quality activities

  • Review and Approve Master Data Management approach, outcomes, and activities

  • Work with other Data Owners to resolve data issues and dissonance across business units

  • Second level review for issues identified by Data Stewards

  • Provide input to the Steering Committee on software solutions, policies or Regulatory Requirements that impact their data domain

Data Steward

Profile of a Data Steward: The Data Steward has the accountability for the day-to-day management of data. They are the Subject Matter Experts who understand and communicate the meaning and use of information. They are responsible to work with the other Stewards across the organization as the governing body for most data decisions and issue resolutions. They will represent the Data Owner in most discussions. Data Stewards utilize the Data Owners and the Governance Steering Committee as “Appellate” organizations when the Stewards Council cannot resolve a data issue.

Specific Responsibilities:

  • Serve as a subject matter expert (SME) for your data domain

  • Identify and work with other data steward to resolve data issues

  • Act as a member of the Data Steward council

  • Propose, discuss, and vote on data policies and committee activities

  • Report activities and decision of the Stewards to the Data Owner and the other Stakeholders within a data domain

  • Ensure that Stakeholders’ interests are represented at the Steward’s Council.

  • Work cross functionally across lines of business to ensure their domain’s data is managed and understood

Each of these roles is an important component of a well-run governance organization. Somebody must do each of these things. When they are rolled out and how the roles interact will be customized based on your roll-out strategy and maturity model.

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