Data Governance Roles

Data Governance Roles and Responsibilities

Data Governance Benefits

Whatever the size of your organization, you should have the following Data Governance Roles identified. If you are a smaller organization, you should assign these roles to the right people, alongside their everyday tasks, with some people having multiple roles.

Here are the Data Governance Roles and their Responsibilities that you will need to consider.

Executive Level Sponsor

Data Governance Program: Executive Sponsor
  • Secures buy-in from other groups/departments
  • Representation of the data governance program to other executives
  • Provides overall guidance to the Data Governance Council / Team

To implement a Data Governance Program, you will need an Executive Level Sponsor to ensure buy-in and have the power to hold others accountable. The Executive Sponsor will need to ensure that the Data Governance plan is run as an ongoing program. Their job is to secure buy-in from other groups across the organization and be the Data Governance Team representative to the executives.

Data Governance Administrator

Data Governance Program: Data Governance Administrator
  • The face of the Data Governance Program (forms the Data Governance Council)
  • Facilitates meetings, delivers information to the team, and drives initiatives.

This person is the face of the program, the person who is going to form the Data Governance Council.  They will facilitate the meetings, deliver the information, drive the initiatives, and be the go-to person for the program. 

Data Governance Council

Data Governance Program: Data Governance Council
  • Comprised of members from across the organization  
  • Sets the strategic goals and directions of the Data Governance Program
  • Makes the decisions regarding subjects like Data Quality standards, Architecture, Legal Compliance

This group is set up by the Data Governance Administrator, who is also a member. The Data Governance Council will be comprised of members across the organization, from the IT team, department heads, end users, etc. The Council sets the strategic goals, and the program’s direction and sets priorities. The Data Governance Council makes all the decisions about what will be included in the data governance program.  For example, the standards, processes, architecture, and legal compliance.

NOTE: The Data Governance Council’s job is to provide oversight of the data assets, to ensure consistency and compliance, to keep customers’ data safe, and to ensure trust in its accuracy and completeness.

Data Steward 

The Data Steward is the most important role. Their responsibilities include:

Data Governance Program: Data Steward
  • Day-to-day caretakers of the data 
  • Define how data access is provided to users 
  • Define metrics and enforce changes across all departments 

The Data Steward enforces the rules that the Data Governance Council has set and is the day-to-day caretaker of the Data Governance Program. They define access security, enforce if people are complying, and work closely with all the department heads and users to ensure that the data governance program is being followed. 

You may need more than one Data Steward, especially in larger organizations. For example, there may be a Business Data Steward who knows all the business processes, while a Systems Data Steward will know and oversee the various systems like finance, sales, marketing, etc., and understand how these different systems communicate.


The Data Consumers (Users) use the data daily and are on the front lines, so we want to ensure they are happy but also provide feedback to the Data Stewards about any issues they are encountering (duplicates, invalid/incomplete data, etc.).

Data Governance Roles: Consumers
  • Use data daily
  • Front-line of data usage
  • Report issues with the data

The key here is to think about how you can help consumers do their job better. Give them reliable, accurate, and complete data that is easily accessible on the dashboards and reports they are using.

Find out more about these Data Governance Best Practices and the Data Governance Charter in the next section of this series.


Or get the full QWARE Data Governance Best Practices White Paper here: