A Data Steward refers to the lead role in a data governance project. Data Stewards take ownership of the data and work with the business to define the programme's objectives.
The role of a Data Steward is specifically tasked with maintaining data control in data governance and master data management initiatives on a day-to-day basis. Data Stewardship is required for data implementation and data management to succeed. An example of what they may do to achieve this is drafting the data quality rules which their data is measured against.
Where a Data Owner will take the overall ownership of a dataset, they will unlikely be involved with the specific activities involved with keeping the data clean on a regular basis. A Data Steward will have the Data Owner’s visibility of the overall objectives of the data, but will also be heavily involved in the specifics of how to achieve it.
Data Stewardship is a key part of any data governance programme which needs the right combination of processes, technology and people in place to be effective.
The benefits of appointing a data steward can include:
Gartner says, "Organisations striving to improve data quality must consider appointing data stewards. The success of data stewardship requires organisations to move towards a culture that views data as a competitive asset rather than a necessary evil and define clear goals for data-quality improvement."