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Principle 23 - Data stewards.

Data stewards are responsible for ensuring the appropriate documentation, collection, storage, and use of the data within their purview.


Because University administrative data is acted upon by multiple processes and business applications, data stewards are needed to manage and coordinate the data from a University perspective.


  • Selected from one of the organizations with an inherent interest in the quality and cost-effectiveness of the data, stewards are accountable to the University Data Administrator, who, in turn, is accountable to the Vice Provost for Information Systems and Computing.
  • Data categories that require stewardship will be defined in the University data architecture. Examples might be "facilities data" and "people data."
  • Data stewards are responsible for the quality and cost-effectiveness of the data within their purview. At the same time, operational stewardship for University administrative data is widely distributed-from process owners, to system developers, to organizational units, to individuals who create and modify data. Data stewards work with process owners and systems developers to ensure appropriate data definition, documentation, collection, storage, and use. Data stewards work with organizational units that create and modify data to ensure that policies and standards are understood and upheld. Data stewards investigate, broker and communicate the needs of the various constituencies.
  • Data stewards rely heavily on leadership, coordination, education, training, advocacy, communication, and incentives.
  • Data stewards work within the standards and structures developed by the University Data Administrator and participate in the development of those standards and structures.
  • Data stewards arbitrate data issues that require consensus or negotiation. The University Data Administrator arbitrates data issues that cross the spheres of data stewards.
  • Policies must be developed to define the roles and responsibilities of data stewards and guidelines for their appointment.

Information Systems and Computing
University of Pennsylvania
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