2013 Data Stewards of the Year nominations show evolution of data stewardship


Each year, I'm excited to see the awards nominations for Data Steward of the Year come in. It's not just because we enjoy seeing the program grow each year (which is true, based on the number of nominations we receive). It's also because of the variety of the nominations – and the impressive work that people are doing each year to manage data.

This year's field was incredibly deep. We had nominations from three continents and a variety of industries. The data stewards in the competition worked for organizations that were big and small.  After our distinguished panel reviewed the nominations, we are excited to name Maureen Spence of Capital One as the 2013 Data Steward of the Year. Maureen is a Senior MIS Analyst Manager at Capital One. She leads a team that supports all Bank Data Store applications, as well as more than 1,000 direct and 10,000 indirect users.

Maureen Spence, 2013 Data Steward of the Year
Maureen Spence, 2013 Data Steward of the Year

In her nomination, her colleague worked tirelessly to automate processes and enable data information availability to all end users. Maureen partners with IT and business stakeholders daily. Her co-workers see her as an invaluable team member, and customers consider her their go-to problem-solver.

Maureen, pictured here, picked up her Stewie at the 2013 Data Governance Winter Conference. Congratulations to Maureen for a job well done!

Maureen's nomination was the epitome of what a data steward strives to be. She works to make sure data is available to all and builds a bridge between business and IT stakeholders. She supports a huge network of users while doing the behind-the-scenes work that allows businesses to run effectively.

For those that didn't take home the prize, there were still some terrific submissions. Some highlights that I found from the entries we received:

  • One data steward saw his workload double during a corporate merger. The work was obviously quite taxing, but he stuck it out to help establish data governance and master data management efforts for the newly formed company.
  • Another entry cited a data steward at an electric utility as someone who was "able to discuss extremely technical points" with his internal customers, all of whom are engineers. He learned their taxonomy and terms and can translate their needs into the data management framework.
  • Across entries, words like "indispensable" and "irreplaceable" are scattered across the nominations. I can think of no two better words to describe the data stewards I've met.

Many thanks to everyone who nominated a colleague for the 2013 Data Steward of the Year award. Look forward to new and more interesting stories in 2014!


About Author

Daniel Teachey

Managing Editor, SAS Technologies

Daniel is a member of the SAS External Communications team, and in his current role, he works closely with global marketing groups to generate content about data management, analytics and cloud computing. Prior to this, he managed marketing efforts for DataFlux, helping the company go from a niche data quality software provider to a world leader in data management solutions.


  1. johnny starling on

    Congratulations to Maureen receiving the 2013 Stewie award. Understanding that real data governance is an enterprise way of thinking combined with a robust solution to support those data governance activities is difficult for a lot of organizations. Maureen, through her efforts at Capital One, seems to have hit the nail on the head. A lot of work to start, but the end result is well worth it. Way to go Maureen !!

  2. Kiersten Spence on

    Congratulations mom! You work harder than anyone I know and you deserve the world! I'm so proud of you. We have come a very long way together and you have excelled beyond all limits and I know you are just beginning. I love you and you are awesome!

  3. Tom Fitzsimmons on

    A well deserved recognition for a remarkable person. Maureen has always been focused on what's best for the company. She is able to accomplish great things despite the obstacles that are encountered along the way on large scale deployments. Great job!

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