Data Stewards: 13 Minutes of Work Per Week

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by Angela Guess

Andrew White of Gartner has come up with a concept that he encapsulates in a phrase: “13 minutes a week – that is how much work your data stewards should be doing.” He explains, “During all the MDM hype a significant number of inquiries have come in that focus on the work of the data steward.  And I mean more precisely the stewards’ role in the business, not inside the IT organization.  This means the marketing person, the supply chain person, the legal secretary, the warehouse manager, who has to solve a problem related to data that impacts their business outcome or performance.  That is the essence of information (or data) stewardship.  It is NOT about ‘data entry.’  It is about ‘chief information problem solver’.”

He continues, “If we collectively (that means you and me) design data stewardship processes that take 8 hours a week, we will be laughed off the stage.  No business person would sign up for that; worse, we should not think that is even a reasonable request.  It might be that we have a lot of ‘data quality work’ to get our data in a ship shape fashion, but that work is not ‘data stewardship’ work data to day.  That would be upfront preparation for the implementation. So I came up with this idea: We should design information stewardship processes, and sell that work, as if it resulted in ’13 minutes a week of work’.  No one can predict when that work needs to be done; it is meant to be on an exception basis.  That business users would do this work as ordinarily as they do their work today – this IS part of what they do (it is not different, or additional).  In fact, before this whole effort, too many users did exactly this, and trod on each other’s toes!”

Read more here.

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