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Data Governance

Data governance is a strategic, “top-down” program for data management in which an organization's leadership communicates the core value of data quality and integrity to stakeholders. It includes the development and enforcement of standards and procedures. It requires broad understanding of data entrusted to the organization, the value and use of data, upstream and downstream stakeholders, systems, and processes for all decisions and issue resolution. To be effective, data governance requires data stewardship and

data stewards. It also requires executive sponsors and support.

Stewardship is not ownership. A steward is a custodian who is responsible for managing something that belongs to someone else. Data stewardship is the managing of information on behalf of the “owners” of the data. The data steward is in effect “the feet on the ground,” ensuring the data governance standards are adhered to and evolve as necessary.

An effective data governance program requires that:

• Data is created, recorded, and distributed in compliance with standards

• An established metadata gathering process clearly describes requirements and characteristics of the data to be maintained (discussed in Part 2 of this book, and Appendix A contains a variety of metadata)

• There is a metric-driven adherence of all data definition standards

• There is a feedback or notification system to identify inadequacies in the data

• There is a data quality assurance process that monitors the integrity of information within the system

• There is a data management structure that includes data stewardship, a data governance panel, and an executive layer

There are two data steward roles: data producer stewards and data usage stewards. Data producer stewards are responsible for:

• Appropriate data content creation and maintenance of quality.

• Appropriate business rules related to all data elements and attributes for which the data steward has responsibility. A data attribute is a fact or characteristic about a data element or entity.

Data usage stewards are responsible for:

• Appropriate data usage quality, including screens and reports

• Appropriate business rules, including privacy

• Appropriate presentation:

• Method

• Design

• Architecture

• Aesthetics (ugly user interfaces are avoided)

In addition to the role of the data producer and data usage steward, there is the role of data administrator.

Data administrators are those responsible for:

• Data analysis

• Data acquisition design

• Data organizing or classifying

• Data storage and distribution design

• Data archiving

• Ensuring the implementation of business rules

• Data management (metadata) tool administration (as a data dictionary)

Depending on the size and volume of the data being managed, these roles may be combined or staffed by more than one person.

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