My previous columns have focused on building a data management Center of Excellence to help coordinate the stewardship of corporate information. Data stewardship isn't something you "just do," though. It's a complex, ongoing task that requires companies to become information innovators. There are five building blocks that support any enterprise data stewardship program (DSP). How well you understand and use these building blocks will largely determine how well you manage your corporate information.

Data stewardship can be defined as custodianship of the access, integrity and content of a company's information. Although many IT authors have preached on the need for sound data stewardship for more than a decade, it always amazes me how many companies haven't bought into the philosophy. These companies often have no defined data ownership model. They also often don't have policies and standard processes in place for data control, which creates silos of data management. Or, for companies that do have them, they aren't enforced or they have an unclear mandate with poorly defined authority.

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