Data Governance Certification or Data Stewardship Certification?

The Data Management Association (DAMA) is now offering a Data Governance Certification as an option of their current Certified Data Management Professional, which is a natural extension since the test for Data Governance already existed under their current certification process and merely requires a specific configuration of test modules. But what does Data Governance certification mean and is that really what is needed? The Data Governance certification offered by DAMA is, to a great extent, based on the Data Governance practice area described in the DAMA Data Management Body of Knowledge document (DMBOK) which was published in 2009. That focuses on the best practices for a Data Governance program and organization in terms of what activities it should be performing, what tools it should be using, and what roles and responsibilities should be present. But do we need to be certifying that people know how to set up a Data Governance program? Rather, should we be focusing on what the people who need to perform Data Governance for an organization should be doing – the Data Stewards? Certifying Data Stewards may not be something that should be done generically. Rather, an organization may want to certify that the identified Data Stewards within their organization are knowledgeable in the agreed standard operating procedures for Data Stewards in that particular organization. In summary, having a Data Governance certification makes sense that identifies individuals who are familiar with how, in general, a Data Governance organization should be created and operated. It makes more sense for an organization to certify their Data Stewards on the particular processes unique to their organization.

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