Determining who is responsible for data management depends on which part of the process you are interested in. Data management first takes a decision about what is needed by a data management system. Next, a decision will have to be made about what kind of system to implement—and whether to hire an external data management service provider. Finally, the system will need to be implemented and maintained.

Who is Responsible for Data Management?

In general, the responsibility of data management will fall under the CDO (Chief Data Officer) or an IT expert who has experience in data management systems. If a company does not already have a data management plan in place, they may engage several leaders in the company to discuss with the CDO or IT project lead to determine data management needs before making a system or service decision.

Who is Responsible for Determining Data Management Needs?

Depending on the company, several departments may take part in determining a company’s data management needs. This is because data plays a huge role in making strategic business decisions. It is crucial for finance, sales and marketing, business development, and operations management, as well as for C-suite executives and other stakeholders to take part in the conversation. 

It is helpful for the CDO or IT project lead to learn from these leaders the type of data they use, where it is housed, and the data they need but do not have (easy) access to for strategic decision-making.

Who is Responsible for Implementing a Data Management System?

The IT department is typically responsible for implementing a data management system. This is usually overseen by a CDO or the lead on the project. 

However, a company may also choose to outsource the data management implementation process. This is recommended for companies who do not have an expert, full-time Chief Data Officer (CDO) or whose IT team does not have the expertise or bandwidth to implement the system.

Outsourcing data management implementation is also a good option for companies who hope to implement their data management system quickly or who have complex data or needs that will complicate the implementation.

Who is Responsible for Managing a Data Management System?

While data management systems are designed to run in the background, they still require regular maintenance, user support, and typically need someone available to make changes to data sources, governance, and dashboards as needed.

The data management system may be managed in cooperation between the IT department and the Chief Data Officer if it is being managed in-house. However, if the business has chosen to utilize managed services for their data management system, most of these duties would be completed by the managed services provider.

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