What are Data-related roles? If you search on Google, you will most probably get a long list of roles, such as Creator, Consumer, User, Owner, Steward, Collector, Analyser, etc. Considering that Data management is a shared responsibility within a company (as stipulated by DAMA-DMBOK), it could be understandable. But in reality, there is no consensus on Data-related roles and their responsibilities, even within DAMA.
My question is: why is it so difficult to reach a consensus on 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, that separate data-related roles.
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 realize that they match the description of the Information Value chain: "mapping the relationship between data, process, business systems, and technology" (DAMA-DMBOK, 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 recognizes.
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.