SM-15-001.01 Data Steward

Issue Date:  12/15/2014

Effective Date: 12/15/2014


The purpose of this standard is to encourage State Agency staff to manage constituent data as an asset of the State.  As with all State assets, there are basic management responsibilities that must be addressed to ensure the asset is used to the benefit of the constituent and the State in a secure, cost effective manner. Such an environment will benefit the State of Georgia and its constituents by improving decision-making, supporting business process improvement, reducing data redundancy, minimizing errors, and allowing more responsive service to citizens.

In order to create this environment, data ownership and responsibilities for data creation, usage and quality must be assigned at the source of its collection. An additional benefit of this environment will be increased agency attention to creation and use of data resources, and the storage media required for that data.


1. For constituent data within his/her authority, an agency Data Owner shall assign the responsibilities of Data Steward to one or more individuals to protect and to manage the data.  A Data Owner may have concurrent responsibility as Data Steward.

2. A Data Steward shall be a business subject matter expert designated as accountable for specific constituent data as follows:

a. Identifying data requirements within an assigned subject area,

b. Maintaining the quality and consistency of data naming, business definitions, data integrity rules, and domain values within an assigned subject area,

c.  Complying with regulatory requirements and conforming to internal data policies and data standards,

d. Applying appropriate security controls,

e. Analyzing and improving data quality,

f.  Identifying and resolving data related issues.  Accordingly, the Data Steward shall be notified of actual or suspected breaches of the data within his or her domain of responsibility as well as of constituent inquiries regarding the privacy of that data, and

g. Recommending to the Data Owner the approval or disapproval of requests to share constituent data in his/her assigned subject area.  This responsibility may include negotiating interagency sharing agreements for the use of constituent data in his/her assigned subject area.


Statewide Data Sharing PM-07-003

Data Sharing Guidelines GM-15-008

Data Lifecycle Management PM-14-009

Data Categorization – Impact Level SS-08-014


Data Steward – The specific employee or position assigned by a Data Owner to protect and to manage the use of specific data.

Data Quality – Data quality is the degree to which constituent data is accurate, complete, timely, consistent with all requirements and business rules, and relevant for a given use.

Business Requirement – Requirements stating in business terms or ordinary language what must be delivered or accomplished by collecting specific constituent data.

Error – Data in error is incorrectly stated, inaccurate or no longer valid in fact or has been subjected to incorrect action taken in a process, usually resulting in a defect. Timeliness – The constituent data that meets the currency requirements of information consumers, often being judged by a time status.

Consistency – The constituent data is logical and coherent with no internal contradictions.

Data Integrity – Data complies with all rules regarding definitions, relationships, lineage and heritage.  Data can be proven not to have changed unexpectedly through transmission between systems.

Validity / Relevance – The constituent data conforms to domain values and defined business rules.

Accuracy – Constituent data is free from mistakes or error and/or conforms to a standard.

Domain values – A set of allowable values for a data attribute in a given business situation used to determine or confirm that specific data satisfied or conforms to defined rules, business rules, integrity constrains or defined standards.  An information system cannot perform validation unless the system is provided a definition of the way things should be.


For specific data, the “data owner” is an individual designated by the agency head.  A designated data owner for agency business or constituent data is often the manager responsible for the agency business unit responsible for collecting, creating and/or maintaining specific data, its accuracy and its completeness.  The data owner is responsible for protecting and managing the use and sharing of the assigned data.  If no individual has been assigned as data owner for specific data, the data owner responsibilities remain with the agency head.

Note:  The term "data owner" used in a data management/data steward context should not be confused with "data owner" used in an information security context.