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3 min read

How to Win Data Stewards and Influence Senior Management

How to Win Data Stewards and Influence Senior Management

Data stewards play a crucial role in ensuring the quality and usability of an organization's data, and effective data management can provide significant competitive advantages. This blog post will discuss practical tips and strategies to win over data stewards and influence senior management to help prioritize your data management initiatives.

We asked the EA community on LinkedIn a simple yes or no question: Do data stewards engage with your EA portfolio?

Picture 1Not surprisingly, 75% of the people said that data stewards don’t really engage or manage the data in the EA portfolio. This has been a problem for enterprise architecture teams for decades. Read further as we dive into a few things you can do to get data stewards on your side and engage with your EA portfolio. (Skip to webinar recording here.)


1. Have Direct Business Value You’re Working Towards

Don’t just show some beautiful models the data stewards won’t understand. It is vital that you tell them why you need to work together and what the outcomes would be. You need to be clear about the value being provided to the organization.

Don’t just build some beautiful models, that nobody understands.


2. Get Senior Stakeholders on Board

To get senior stakeholders on board, you must understand their mindset. Here are some practical tips on how you could do that:

  • Meet them in the hallways and just ask them.
  • Invite them for lunch to discuss where their current focus is.
  • Talk to their secretary and see if you can get the notes from their last board meeting.

At the end of the day, senior stakeholders are the ones who decide whether what you’re doing is successful or not, so make sure your efforts align with the business goals.


3. Communicate EA’s Value via Internal Channels

You should communicate the following two points in clear and layman’s terms:

  • What is the business value you’re driving?
  • Who is the key stakeholder supporting you?

Consider investing in (or see if your organization already has one!) a communications officer who has no idea of enterprise architecture. This way, you ensure that your communications will be in a language that anyone from your organization will understand. Because if this communications officer can understand what you’re doing, they can explain it to anyone and everyone in the company for you.

It would be best to deliver value every 3-6 months.


4. Have the Stewards’ Immediate Manager Committed

Before doing anything with the data stewards, you should contact their immediate manager and inform them. If you keep them in the dark, they could be an obstacle for you in the future.

When you have the data stewards’ immediate manager committed, they will work towards your success, too.


5. Make Engaging with The Portfolio as Easy as One, Two, Three

It would be best if you aimed for the engagement with your portfolio to be a one-click solution. It is vital to ensure the data stewards' job of updating or validating your data would take them as few clicks as possible. Make the task as simple as possible.

Make sure you assign tasks or email reminders to the stewards, so they know when it is time again for them to validate your data.



6. Data Governance

There are different ways to address data governance. We have the 4C methodology at ins-pi, which we have been running for years.


When talking about data, you should first check if it has been completed. The following questions will be helpful:

  1. Is all basic information stated? For example:
    • the asset’s name
    • what it is doing
    • who is responsible for it
    • what is the lifecycle
  2. Is the portfolio description written according to what it does in the organization? This text shouldn’t be a generic Wikipedia text.
  3. Have key fields been completed?
  4. Is there enough data to answer the given use-case? (There should be no more and no less data.)
  5. What is the lifecycle of the data?

Next, make sure the data is current. These questions can help you with that:

  1. Has someone validated the data?
  2. Is it current and up-to-date?

To make sure the data you are looking at is correct, you can ask the following questions:

  1. Is the data you’re looking at correct?
  2. Is there an action field where people can give feedback if they think the data needs to be corrected?

And finally, when talking about the crucialness of data, the following should guide you:

  1. Is what you’re doing linked to a direct use-case?
  2. If your data is not fulfilling a direct use-case, just remove it.


If you want to learn more, you can watch our webinar on the topic below:



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