SQL Server Performance

Data Ownership

Discussion in 'EditorsBlog' started by shanetasker, Nov 25, 2008.

  1. shanetasker New Member

    I was having a chat to several people today during a break in a training course and the question came up of 'who owns the data in a database?' I'm not sure if it was because I was talking to a group of Database Administrators but the overwhelming response was the DBA team. I on the other hand had a very different opinion. As a true consult my response is that it depends.
    I agree that a DBA has ownership of the management of the database server, but the owner of the actual data varies between each individual organisation. For example, the financial transactions of a corporation are owned by the stakeholders in the business. Whereas the patient records in a medical centre are owned by the individual patient. Any changes to the data should not be made without the approval of the owner of the data or a data custodian. In your organisation, who own the data?
    - Peter Ward
  2. unclebiguns New Member

    I have gone from believing that I as a DBA own the data to letting my users assume ownership. I do what I can to insure consistency and accuracy, but no longer take ownership. For example, I am currently involved in re-writing our personnel system and I have let the personnel department know of data errors as a transform the data and tell them that if they want accurate data they need to fix the source data.
  3. duanemsmith New Member

    I have been Data Quality Manager at 2 large financial institutions at the beginning of the development of Data Governance within these organizations. During this process at 1 organization we established a Data Governance board made up of the management team who were considered Data Custodians (designated data owners). They assigned some of their key people as Data Stewards (data maintenance group). We then surveyed and interviewed all of these staff on their perception of Data Quality and Data Ownership. Generally most staff on the business side had the perception that IT were the owners of data while the IT staff clearly understood this was not their responsibility as they are not permitted to make wholesale changes to the client data inherent in their databases. Everyone agreed including IT (to my surprise) that we had Data Quality issues, however the scale could not be determined. As Data Quality Manager and having worked in a Data Bureau, I had the false belief that I could cleanse data using various Data Quality tools and then simply load the cleansed data back into our source systems. During the Data Governance process I found that Data Quality is more about people and process and that everyone has a role to play in Data Management. It is difficult to generalize when it comes to question of data ownership, however in most cases it is better to view IT as the custodians of data who provide the appropriate infrastructure and access to the data. The Business has the role of managing database content and ensuring it's accuracy, completeness and currency. It is recommended that Data Governance be in place to address the issue of ownership, access, quality prior to any large scale data migration to a new system. If this is not done you are simply taking the problems of the past with you. Also Data Governance is a great opportunity to establish the appropriate business rules and processes to improve data quality in the future. It will also map out the appropriate responses to data quality issues depending on severity and who these issues should be escalated to. Without declared Data Ownership, Data Quality issues will persist even with large IT investments in database infrastructure. Establishing Data Governance will allow your organization to review the issues of ownership (the most difficult question), the business rules, the business and technology processes as well as promote better engagement with IT and the business.
  4. jimpen New Member

    The company (department) always owns the data. (With the exception of personal information.)This is really essential to keep in mind with the amount of outsourcing done today. When writing a contract with a company that is holding your data you need to consider the restriction/requirements of what happens when the contract ends and how they will return the data to you.The other one that my company ran into is that one of our vendors sold/licensed, to us, an application and database. The day that we stopped paying for that license was the same day that we had to stop using their database structure. We had to pay them during the database conversion to continue using their database while we exported the data.

Share This Page