Making sense of Data-related roles
What are Data-related roles? If you do a search on Google, you will most probably get a long list of roles, such as Creator, Consumer, User, Owner, Steward, Collector, Analyser etc. Taking into account that Data management is a shared responsibility within a company (as stipulated by DAMA DM-BOK) it could be understandable. But in reality there is no consensus on Data-related roles and their responsibilities, even within DAMA itself.
My question is: why is it so difficult to reach a consensus in this matter?
The answer is simple: we take different approaches, we have different viewpoints, and we fail to notice that there are several contexts, or dimensions, in which Data-related roles can be separated.
You can define 4 contexts, based on the analysis of the Data flow within an Enterprise:
- Data ownership (taking into account its different types: Reference and Master data, Transactional Data, Metadata)
- Data lifecycle
- Data governance
- Data in Systems & Technology
But if you take a good look at these contexts, you might realise that they match the description of the Information Value chain: ‘mapping the relationship between data, process, business systems, and technology’ (DAMA DM-BOK, p.66).
So, if you try to distribute all known Data-related roles and plot them into the Information Value Chain model, as a result you will get something like this:
Data : Data owners
Data lifecycle: Data user/ consumer, Data provider
Data governance: Data stewards
Data in Systems & Technology: System and Infrastructure owners
The last task in aligning all of these roles is to plot all data related tasks vs Roles that your company recognises.
If you are interested in a full list of possible Data-related tasks, I recommend the article ‘Data governance: Information ownership policies and roles explained’ for further reading if you.