The Role of Data Stewards for Data Cleansing

Data Stewards are employees who proactively maintain a database to facilitate understanding and consistent use of an available database. Data stewardship can also be outsourced to professional organizations that understand the science behind data cleaning of bulk data which then can be confidently used by marketing organizations to tract customers and generate leads. Data Stewardship ensures professional and skilled data management.

Some Data Stewardship Roles

Authenticity of Data Source

A data steward describes the authenticity of the source for each data element. Where multiple data sources are involved, the data steward ranks the authenticity level of each source. When businesses use the data, they understand how authentic and dependable the data is based on the data stewards information on source authenticity.

Documentation on how data elements should be used

Usage of simple Data Elements is clear-phone numbers for calling or postal address verification, FirstName for informal communications and LastName for formal addressing of prospects. However, certain data elements such as ‘CallNotes’, ‘MinutesofMeeting’, have to be documented for proper usage and later understanding. Data Stewardship ensures the documentation for all Data Elements to proactively enter and maintain clean data.

Data Element Name

Data elements are individual pieces of data for instance City, Zip and EmployeeName. Data Stewardship ensures that each data element has a clear name and that the name is unique. The same name cannot be used for two different data elements. The name also should be self-explanatory to the extent possible. Names like ‘Dateofbirth’, ‘CountryofBirth’, ‘StreetName’ are more easily understood than ‘Dob’, ‘PlaceofBirth’ or ‘Adress1’.

Address Data conflicts & Usage

It is common to encounter duplicate data elements and data elements that have overlaps with other data elements. For example, the data element ‘Firstname’ could overlap with the data element ‘GivenNames’. A data steward through resolving of duplicates and overlaps effects data cleaning. Data Stewards also delete data elements which are no longer useful. This reduces the overall size of a database further simplifying data management.

Value Definitions

Some data elements can attain pre-defined value codes. For example severity or a customer complaint can be ‘H’ for high, ‘M’ for Medium and ‘L’ for low severity. Data Stewards ensure clear definition of what constitutes a ‘H’, ‘M’ or ‘L’ severity when a customer complaint is received or analyzed.

Data stewardship is now commonly outsourced to Data Management companies who understand the intricacies of designing, documenting and maintaining a database. This allows marketing organizations to focus on Lead generation and sale closures instead of their precious time and skills getting diverted to data management activities.

Enterprise Data Management companies also use database software that automates several data cleaning activities giving marketing companies an economic data quality assurance option.

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