One of the key ingredients in data governance is the concept of data stewardship. Every project should be familiar with the concept and introduce the concept on all their projects very early. I think it is a great way to get started on data governance and will get great support from the business owners of the data.
I must give Robert Seiner some credit for these ideas because has written some excellent material on this subject. You can see his work at www.tdan.com
Data Stewardship is the formalization of accountability for the management of data resources.
I have asked several people on various projects recently if they knew who the owner of various data resources was on their projects and with a little thought each one said yes. These people are the informal data stewards and our thesis is that they should be recognized formally and explained their role. A role they are already fulfilling on an informal basis.
The next step is to create metadata for the data steward which contains the names of the stewards and the data they steward. Seiner calls this the Stewardship Repository. In addition the responsibility should be written in their job description. This action simply formalizes an activity they already do.
The great news is that we now know the answer to the question "Who owns the data?" We then know who to go to if we have questions about the data and its status. I bet everybody in the data warehousing business would welcome a place to go to find out who owns what data.
My suggestions is that early on in every project the Business Analyst be assigned the responsibility of adding to the Stewardship Repository. I am sure its existence would save the Business Analysts a significant of time.
This is the first step in data stewardship but a really important and relatively simple step. I invite your comments.