How Can I Become a Data Steward?

Research what it takes to become a data steward. Find out about the education requirements, training and certification, and earning potential for this career. Schools offering Database Administration degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Data Steward?

Data stewards are responsible for managing and securing data and information for a business. They also backup data and develop databases to meet the needs of a particular business. Data stewards routinely check the efficiency of databases and make adjustments as needed. They may also be required to change the permissions on different databases, as well as merge old and new databases on occasion. These professionals must ensure that information is safe and secure to protect customer and financial information. In the case of a disaster, data stewards are responsible for restoring any lost data. The following chart can help you understand what you need to know before entering this field.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree; associate's degree accepted for some positions
Education Field of Study Information technology, computer science, or management information systems
Training Required 2-5 years work experience is common
Licensure/Certification Optional certification available
Key Responsibilities Ensure data security and privacy, develop data management procedures, train end users
Job Growth (2014-2024) 11% all database administrators*
Median Annual Wage (2017) $67,337**

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **Payscale.com

Job Duties of a Data Steward

A data steward, in the simplest of terms, is a person who manages a set of variables or information. You ensure data integrity, security and maintenance processes run appropriately. You also develop data management procedures, analyze data quality, develop database systems and create documentation. Data stewards work with multiple departments across an organization in order to resolve problems, implement process improvements and train end users. Additionally, data stewards have access to large amounts of private information, and must adhere to ethical guidelines on privacy.

What Education Is Recommended?

You typically need a bachelor's degree to pursue a job as a data steward, according to multiple April 2011 job postings on Monster.com and CareerBuilder.com; however, a few jobs may only require an associate's degree. Degree programs in information technology, computer science or management information systems provide students with the training needed for this field.

What Skills and Experience Do I Need?

Data stewards are usually required to have experience with SAP software, an enterprise resource planning (ERP) program distributed by a company of the same name. You also need in-depth knowledge of data modeling, data integration, data configuration and general database concepts. Knowledge of various Microsoft applications, including Word and Excel, Structured Query Language (SQL) scripting and Macros is also beneficial. Good data stewards are usually analytical, excellent problem solvers and can prioritize tasks. Employers often seek data stewards with 2-5 years of experience, and some may require additional experience in business or a related industry.

How Could I Advance My Career?

Although not always required for a position as a data steward, certification is also available through the SAP corporation. ERP certification prepares you to support business operations and processes through expert use of the software program. The company also offers numerous training options at centers worldwide.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

There are several similar careers that require a bachelor's degree, including computer programmers, software developers and financial analysts. Computer programmers develop and test code for computer programs. They work closely with software developers and engineers to implement the plans those professionals create. Software developers create all kinds of different computer programs. They may develop specific applications or larger, underlying systems. Financial analysts monitor different kinds of investments, like bonds and stocks. They use this information to advise individuals or organizations as they make investment decisions.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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