Data Steward

Definition of Data Steward

A Data Steward is a designated individual or role within an organization responsible for ensuring the quality, integrity, and compliance of the organization’s data. They establish policies, procedures, and standards to maintain accuracy and efficient data management. Additionally, data stewards liaise with various stakeholders to facilitate the proper usage and sharing of data across the organization.


The phonetic pronunciation of “Data Steward” is:- Data: /’deɪ.tə/ (DAY-tuh)- Steward: /’stuː.ərd/ (STOO-uhrd)

Key Takeaways

  1. Data Stewards are responsible for maintaining and ensuring the accuracy, quality, and integrity of an organization’s data.
  2. They play a crucial role in data governance, implementing policies and procedures to manage and protect sensitive information.
  3. Data Stewards collaborate with different departments in the organization, facilitating communication and promoting data literacy among employees to help them make informed decisions.

Importance of Data Steward

The term “Data Steward” is essential in today’s technology-driven world, as it refers to a professional responsible for ensuring that data generated, collected, and utilized in an organization is accurate, consistent, secure, and readily available for decision-making and analytics.

With the exponential growth in data creation and usage, the role of a data steward has become increasingly important in maintaining the quality, integrity, privacy, and compliance of this valuable asset within an organization.

Data stewards act as a bridge between IT and business units, as they develop data standards, enforce data policies, and manage data life cycles, ultimately improving data-driven processes and encouraging data-driven decision-making.

In summary, data stewards play a crucial role in enhancing the value of an organization’s data resources, bolstering its overall competitiveness and effectiveness.


Data stewardship plays a crucial role in managing and maintaining an organization’s data assets, ensuring that data is accurate, reliable, and accessible to appropriate users. A Data Steward is an expert and guardian of the data, responsible for preserving data quality and implementing policies and guidelines to maintain its integrity. This role typically includes proper data management, security, storage, metadata creation, and data governance.

Data stewards are also accountable for understanding data lifecycle, adhering to data privacy regulations, and communicating data-related issues and solutions across various departments. The primary purpose of data stewardship is to make data usable, trustable and valuable for analysis and decision-making processes within the organization. Adept Data Stewards contribute significantly to the organization’s overall success by providing a strong foundation for data-driven decision making.

As businesses today become more data-centric, the need for skilled data stewards is growing as they assure data consistency, quality, and compliance with relevant industry standards. Moreover, data stewards assist in the development of proper data models, establishing relationships between different datasets to better understand the data’s context and its impact on the organization. Additionally, Data Stewards are also responsible for staying up-to-date with the latest data management and security best practices, ensuring that the organization’s data architecture adheres to the expanding network of global regulations.

In essence, Data Stewards act as facilitators and guardians, empowering organizations to confidently navigate and leverage their data assets for achieving business objectives and driving growth.

Examples of Data Steward

Data Stewardship is a crucial role in organizations that focuses on maintaining the quality, relevance, security, and appropriate use of data assets within the business. Data Stewards often work across departments to manage and facilitate data governance efforts. Here are three real-world examples involving Data Stewards:

Healthcare Organization: In a large healthcare organization, Data Stewards ensure that patient information is accurate, secure, and readily available for doctors, nurses, and administrators to provide quality care. They may coordinate various Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems and regularly conduct audits of data quality and accuracy. Data Stewards also play a critical role in maintaining patient privacy and adhering to regulations like HIPAA.

Financial Institution: In a bank or financial institution, Data Stewards are responsible for maintaining the quality and accuracy of customer data, to facilitate accurate financial transactions, minimize fraud, and comply with regulations such as Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC). They may also work to develop data management strategies, ensuring data is properly classified, stored, and secured to optimize business operations and comply with data protection laws like GDPR.

Retail Company: In a retail company, Data Stewards help maintain the quality and consistency of product data across different sales channels, such as online shopping websites, brick-and-mortar stores, and catalog sales. This involves harmonizing and standardizing product descriptions, pricing, and inventory data. Additionally, they may work to analyze customer data to gain insights on consumer preferences, optimize marketing strategies, and improve overall customer experience. In this context, Data Stewards also ensure compliance with consumer data privacy laws and secure handling of customer information.

Data Steward FAQ

1. What is a Data Steward?

A Data Steward is a professional responsible for maintaining, managing, and ensuring the quality and integrity of an organization’s data assets. Their primary duties include data governance, establishing guidelines and policies for data usage, and collaborating with data users to optimize data processes.

2. What are the key roles and responsibilities of a Data Steward?

Data Stewards are responsible for a variety of tasks such as data quality management, metadata management, developing and enforcing data governance policies, liaising with data users, and supporting data lifecycle management. They also perform data audits to ensure compliance with organizational policies and regulatory requirements.

3. How does a Data Steward ensure data quality is maintained?

A Data Steward ensures data quality by creating and enforcing data governance policies and guidelines, performing data audits, and collaborating with data users to optimize data processes. They also address data quality issues and discrepancies and facilitate the resolution of data inconsistencies.

4. What skills are required to be a successful Data Steward?

A successful Data Steward requires a mix of technical and non-technical skills, including data management, analytical skills, problem-solving abilities, excellent communication, collaboration, and a strong understanding of the organization’s data needs and processes.

5. How do Data Stewards collaborate with other roles in an organization?

Data Stewards work closely with other data-related roles such as Data Analysts, Data Scientists, and Database Administrators to ensure the smooth functioning of data processes. They also collaborate with business stakeholders, IT, and management to align data usage with overall organizational goals and objectives.

6. What is the difference between a Data Steward and a Data Scientist?

While both roles involve working with data, a Data Steward focuses on managing, maintaining, and ensuring the quality of data assets, whereas a Data Scientist focuses on analyzing data to derive insights and support decision-making. Data Stewards establish policies and guidelines for data usage, while Data Scientists use this data to create models and analytics that drive business strategies.

Related Technology Terms

  • Data Governance
  • Data Quality
  • Metadata Management
  • Data Privacy
  • Data Lineage

Sources for More Information


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