Who owns the enterprise data? Part 1: IT


IT guy questioningThe other day I was in a meeting with a client and there was an argument about who owns the data. Those arguing were IT people. In this scenario, the assumption was that data from source systems would flow into and integrate with a data warehouse.

I found the discussion very interesting. Here are some of the assumptions I noted during the debate, followed by a few observations.


  1. IT is the group that extracts or subscribes to the data from the source systems. IT also designs the extract process and the target data stores.
  2. IT developers are the ones who integrate, merge, check quality and propagate the data to the layers in the data warehouse.
  3. IT and infrastructure set up the development, test and production platforms.
  4. IT, with business consumers, set up the testing scenarios.
  5. Production support (based on IT specifications) sets up and meets any security requirements for the data.
  6. IT manages the quality of the data from the source systems.
    1. Assumption is there's a process in place to continually correct the quality of the source system data – that must be an ongoing task. Data does NOT get better unless we help it.
  7. IT is responsible for the consumption and use of technical and business metadata.


  1. From the IT perspective, they own almost every aspect of data movement, integration and set up.
  2. Funding, in many companies, is by project and not necessarily set up for ongoing maintenance of the data or the tasks associated with monitoring.
  3. IT usually gets blamed if the data is not exactly the way the business users want to see and use it.
  4. Why are business consumers not involved in the entire process? Soup to Nuts!

    Find out how to get the right people on your big data bus.


About Author

Joyce Norris-Montanari

President of DBTech Solutions, Inc

Joyce Norris-Montanari, CBIP-CDMP, is president of DBTech Solutions, Inc. Joyce advises clients on all aspects of architectural integration, business intelligence and data management. Joyce advises clients about technology, including tools like ETL, profiling, database, quality and metadata. Joyce speaks frequently at data warehouse conferences and is a contributor to several trade publications. She co-authored Data Warehousing and E-Business (Wiley & Sons) with William H. Inmon and others. Joyce has managed and implemented data integrations, data warehouses and operational data stores in industries like education, pharmaceutical, restaurants, telecommunications, government, health care, financial, oil and gas, insurance, research and development and retail. She can be reached at jmontanari@earthlink.net.

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  1. No matter how many times we think we have answered this question, somebody else asks it again. While I look forward to the rest of this blog, my 2 cents..

    IT are Data Custodians - they safeguard, backup and process the data on behalf of the Data Owners, maintaining the availability, integrity and confidentiality of the data
    Senior Management, usually ExCo members or Directors are the Data Owners - they own the systems and the associated data within their reporting lines. They may delegate the responsibilities of this role to someone else. Ownership travels with the data, so if it ends up in a dedicated Operational Data Store, or data dumps, they still own it

    If you can give me a clear answer to "Who owns the Integrated Date Layer in the Data Warehouse?" I'd be delighted!

  2. Bob -- Loved your comment. I think The Enterprise Owns the Data...... None of us do, for sure not me, as the consultant. What if we lived in a world where EVERYONE understood the Enterprise Data Assets and the Enterprise Owned that integrated ODS? I would be happier!

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