The Importance of Material Master Data Steward
Once the organization has designated who will own the data and understands the unique nature of material master data, it’s time to decide who will manage it all. In this post, we will explain who the data steward — or stewards — should be.
Even in the field of data management, the term “data steward” is relatively new. It came into being after business leaders realized they needed specialists to manage their master data once its ownership was transferred from IT.
Simply put, a master data steward is someone who looks after the creation, management, and utilization of an organization’s master data. Depending upon the size of the company, a number of stewards might need to manage different types of data. The mantle of material master data steward is generally given to a senior procurement or operations professional.
Responsibilities of a material master data steward include:
- Data Ownership – The data steward is the de-facto owner of all material master data, irrespective of where and when it was created or stored.
- Data Cleansing – Corrupt data is worse than no data. A steward is the one responsible for cleansing any and all material master data. Most stewards rely on automated solutions to achieve this goal.
- Quality Assurance – Just cleansing the data is not enough. Ongoing data governance is equally important. Similar to data cleansing, stewards can lean on solutions that serve as a filter for any data entering the system.
- Data security – Security is a grave concern for any organization, and material master data is one of the most critical types of data in the system. The steward takes on the responsibility of implementing and maintaining security protocols.
- Business Data Need Mapping – Data stewards are more than just about data management. One of their important tasks involves mapping available data in line with business requirements. This work helps the organization stay compliant and notice data gaps that need to be filled.
The role of Data Stewards is not always clearly defined and is different for every organization, depending on its size and complexity. This is what an organization will initially need in a data steward as it irons out processes and firms up the way to manage material data. The functions and responsibilities of data stewards will surely evolve.
Next week, we’ll conclude this blog series by enumerating the factors that will help you select the right steward for your material master data.
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