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Data Owner: Everything you need to know about this job

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Data Owner: Everything you need to know about this job

Customer feedback, use of connected objects, company reports, social networks... Data sources are multiplying, and so is the information they contain. In such a context, organizations are confronted with large volumes of data. But to exploit this data and gain a competitive advantage, data quality and security must be ensured. This is where the data owner comes in. Who is the data owner? What is their mission? What skills does he or she have? We answer all your questions.

What is a data owner?

The data owner is considered the owner of the company’s data. In other words, he or she is the data referent.

It’s a position of great responsibility, since it’s the data owner who guarantees data quality, integrity and security. In this capacity, he/she participates in the organization’s data management policy.

Most of the time, the data owner is responsible for the data within a defined perimeter. Usually, this is a department. For example, the marketing director is the data owner of customer information. The CFO is the data owner of accounting information, and so on. But in large companies, it’s also possible to go further in the subdivision. For example, the sales manager of a customer portfolio will be the data owner of the customer data in that portfolio.

In order to make the right decisions regarding data governance within his or her perimeter, he or she must have sufficient budget and decision-making power to implement the necessary data management measures.

What is the role of the data owner?

As the guarantor of the database, the data owner has a variety of tasks to perform. Indeed, he or she must ensure :

  • Data compliance: data must comply with both GDPR regulations and the organization’s quality standards.
  • Data maintenance and protection: in this context, he/she must supervise the actions of data stewards to ensure good data quality.
  • Data security: this involves defining access to data for different employees, as well as minimizing security breaches by third parties.
  • Data modeling: he/she must be able to communicate with other members of the management team regarding the analysis of data within his/her scope.

In addition, the data owner must work with other members of the IT department. For example, he/she works closely with data architects to design a Big Data architecture that is as relevant as possible to the organization’s needs.
And let’s not forget the business staff who are also responsible for collecting the data.

What skills does a data owner need?

As a data manager, the data owner must master a number of IT tools, such as SQL, Access, Power BI…

The data owner must also have a well-developed business approach. The data collected must be relevant not only to the data owner’s own area of activity, but also to the organization’s overall business challenges.

Finally, the data owner must have managerial skills, as it is he or she who supervises activities aimed at data protection and quality.

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