Data Governance is Strategic; Data Stewardship is Tactical
What is the difference between data governance and data stewardship? As the title of this post would imply, stewardship is a tactical function. And by tactical I mean short-term, specific, and local. The common thread here is that these tasks all are executed against specific business terms or data elements. Examples of tactical data stewardship tasks include:
- Defining the data – Identifying key data, gathering definitions, documenting allowable values
- Defining business rules – For creation of data, for usage of data, for derivation of data
- Documenting data sources – Identifying system of record/system of recommendation
- Setting data quality targets – Fit-for-use thresholds
- Metadata identification/documentation
- Remediation of data issues
On the other hand, data governance is a strategic function. It is strategic in the sense that it is long-term, general, and global. Examples of data governance tasks include:
- Creation of a structure for participation – The committees, working groups, and councils for the data governance program
- Defining the goals and principles – Guide the data governance program
- Establishing a communications plan
- Defining the policies and processes – Used to implement data governance
- Define the roles and responsibilities – Rights and obligations of the participants in data governance
Clearly, data governance is not about the data. It’s about the people, policies, and processes to manage an asset that happens to be data.
For more interesting nuggets of information on data governance, check out this great blog post by my fellow InFocuser Bill Schmarzo. Within it the ‘Dean of Big Data’ offers a fantastic deep dive definition of the term and explains its vital role in business decision making.