In Summary - Data Steward / Data Manager
The Work - Data Steward / Data Manager
Data Stewardship is not just an IT function - it's a business function. The primary responsibility of a Data Steward is to make sure that the data of the enterprise is business worthy. To be an effective and efficient Data Steward, you must understand the inner workings of the business - they are inseparable skills.
Data Stewards understand the data in an enterprise better than anyone else and are essential to any analytics-driven organisation. With the emergence of BIG DATA, the role has evolved to become more formalised and diverse. It's a broad job role, incorporating processes, policies, guidelines and responsibilities for administering organisations' data in compliance with business and regulatory obligations.
Every bit and byte of data generated across any business is important. It's the Data Stewards job to ensure that data sources are properly accounted for, protected, stored and maintained. Their particular responsibility stems from an understanding of the business domain and the interaction of business processes with other data needs.
Different types of Data Steward roles are evolving such as:
Operational Data Steward - defines how data will be gathered, managed and used by the organisation and responsible for integrity of data usage; communicating new and changing business requirements; communicating issues and problems.
A Data Steward ensures that there are documented procedures and guidelines for data access and use. Data Stewards work with data custodians, database/warehouse administrators and other related staff to plan and execute an enterprise-wide data governance, control and compliance policies.
Knowledge and Skills
Programming Expertise: Data Stewards love data, but to get into the inner workings of data you must understand the programming involved. A comprehensive knowledge of at least some of the primary languages used is necessary - i.e Python, Perl, PHP, C/C++, Java among others.
Database Proficiency: experience working with various SQL-based systems including (but not limited to) Oracle RDBMS, Informix, Sybase, IBM DB2, MS SQL Server, PostgreSQL and others will add weight to your skillset and resume. Understading of the particularities of queries, DML, DDL, transaction controls, data types, DCL and procedural extensions if necessary.
Data Modeling: Data Stewards are not Data Modelers, but they interact with them often in meetings and when working on Data Governance and Master Data Management initiatives throughout the enterprise. An understanding of features such as ORM diagrams, modeling applications like ERwin, and the differences between conceptual, logical and physical schema is helpful.
Data Warehouse Concepts: It is necessary to understand and have experience with OLAP (and its variations), data integrity, ETL platforms, ODS, OLTP, schema and bottom-up versus top-down designs among others. Real world Data Warehousing experience is highly preferred.
Understanding of Non-Relational Systems: The Big Data onslaught on enterprises has changed the landscape of Data Management forever, so everyone is the field is working to get better skill sets in dealing with Big Data and Unstructured Data. A solid background in the various NoSQL systems has become a prime requirement for many Data Management jobs, including Data Steward. A clear understanding of MapReduce, BigTable implementations, Memcache, sharding, distributed computing techniques, and the differences in the multitude of products on the market today including Hadoop/HBase, Cassandra, Redis, among others.
Technical Writing: There is a belief that high levels of logical thought (a necessity for any Data Management job) somehow presupposes and inability to express oneself clearly (and creatively) with the written word. Luckily, such a belief is only a stereotype and thus not always true. Hone your skills as a writer, which includes the clear expression of ideas, good grammar, the ability to invoke interest in the reader, and your path to landing a good Data Steward position will increase. Data Stewards must be able to write; it’s an essential part of their skill package. They are frequently the intermediaries between the IT and Business Departments, and the ability to express yourself clearly so that both sides of the enterprise understand the message will increase your usefulness by magnitudes.
Business Acumen: Data Stewards are the SMEs of the business in terms of data; Data Stewards understand the data in an enterprise often better than anyone else; Data Stewardship is not an IT function it is a business function. The primary responsibility of a Data Steward is to make sure that the data of the enterprise is business worthy. To be an effective and efficient Data Steward you must understand the inner workings of the business, they are inseparable skills.
Most commonly reported Work Tasks
- Test programs or databases, correct errors and make necessary modifications.
- Modify existing databases and database management systems or direct programmers and analysts to make changes.
- Plan, coordinate and implement security measures to safeguard information in computer files against accidental or unauthorized damage, modification or disclosure.
- Work as part of a project team to coordinate database development and determine project scope and limitations.
- Write and code logical and physical database descriptions and specify identifiers of database to management system or direct others in coding descriptions.
- Train users and answer questions.
- Specify users and user access levels for each segment of database.
- Approve, schedule, plan, and supervise the installation and testing of new products and improvements to computer systems such as the installation of new databases.
- Review project requests describing database user needs to estimate time and cost required to accomplish project.
- Develop standards and guidelines to guide the use and acquisition of software and to protect vulnerable information.
Most commonly reported Work Activities
- Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Processing Information Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Analyzing Data or Information Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Documenting/Recording Information Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Provide Consultation and Advice to Others Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
Interests - Data Steward / Data Manager
This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:
Administrative people are interested in work that offers security and a sense of being part of a larger process. They may be at their most productive under supervisors who give clear guidelines and while performing routine tasks in a methodical and reliable way.
They tend to enjoy clerical and most forms of office work, where they perform essential administrative duties. They often form the backbone of large and small organisations alike. They may enjoy being in charge of office filing systems, and using computers and other office equipment to keep things running smoothly. They usually like routine work hours and prefer comfortable indoor workplaces.
Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.
Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.
The Investigative person will usually find a particular area of science to be of interest. They are inclined toward intellectual and analytical activities and enjoy observation and theory. They may prefer thought to action, and enjoy the challenge of solving problems with sophiscticated technology. These types prefer mentally stimulating environments and often pay close attention to developments in their chosen field.
Good data stewards are usually analytical, excellent problem solvers and can prioritise tasks.
Excellant IT skills are required including knowledge of various Microsoft applications, including Word and Excel, Structured Query Language (SQL) scripting and Macros is also beneficial.
Accuaracy and attention to detail are very important as are strong organisation skills.
Data Stewards need to be creative thinkers with good commercial awareness.
Entry Requirements - Data Steward / Data Manager
A Bachelor Degree in Information Technology, Computer Science, MIS, Mathematics or related field is typically required for this job role.
Most of the top jobs require a Master’s Degree, and/or 3-5 years of relevant experience.
Courses or additional training in areas such as Profressional Data Management, Professional Information Management, and Business skills are also valued.
Last Updated: November, 2014
Pay & Salary - Data Steward / Data Manager
Salary Range (thousands per year)* 44k - 72k
Last Updated: March, 2017
* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
Labour Market Updates - Data Steward / Data Manager
As with programmers, the labour market indicators examined point to an occupation in high demand with strong employment growth and evidence that employers are having difficulties filling vacancies.
National Skills Bulletin 2018
Useful Contacts - Data Steward / Data Manager
- Discover Science & Engineering, Wilton Park House, Wilton Place, Dublin, 2
- Click Here