SOURCE: SAS Institute

SAS Institute

October 29, 2015 09:53 ET

Who's Afraid of Info Monsters? Not SAS' Data Steward of the Year

Fifth Annual Data Stewards Day Is Dec. 4; Nominate Your Most Fearless Data Steward by Nov. 23

CARY, NC--(Marketwired - October 29, 2015) - Halloween spooks many of us who rely on data into wondering: what ensures our data doles out treats? And avoids tricks from the likes of Count Dat-ula, the Creature from the Data Lagoon or the Mad (Data) Scientist? Is it garlic, wooden stakes through the heart, or angry mobs with burning pitchforks? Not even candy? Is it candy? I bet it's candy.

But fear not. The data steward is our protector against these data management delinquents, whose wiles spell evil for your organization's most critical asset: data. For the fifth year, SAS will honor these under-sung heroes on International Data Stewards Day, Dec. 4, by bestowing the highest honor to which a data steward can aspire: the Stewie.

Bad data has real business ramifications. Providing a critical link between IT and business, data stewards don't just protect or manage your data; they make it perform magic. The myriad business benefits include better knowledge about customers, products and services. And ultimately better outcomes.

To paraphrase "Ghostbusters" songwriter Ray Parker Jr., do you have a data steward who can honestly say, "I ain't afraid of no data?" Is there someone within your organization worthy of a Stewie? There is room in the Data Stewards Hall of Fame alongside Capital One's Lee Strode and Maureen Spence, iJet's Falguni Sanghani, and Sallie Mae's Barb Deemer.

If so, nominate your hero now. The submission deadline is Nov. 23, with the winner being announced on Dec. 4. Nominations can take any form; previous submissions have included everything from videos and PowerPoint presentations to poems, letters and essays. In addition to past honorees Sanghani and Strode, judges will include Jim Harris, Dylan Jones, David Loshin, and Joyce Norris-Montanar, all members of the mysterious cadre of data experts known as the Data Roundtable.

To earn the 2015 Stewie, candidates must be using their magic powers to manage and extend data to its fullest. They should serve as a bridge between the organization's IT and business processes and divisions. They don't need "data steward" in their title; as long as they're brilliant, patient, hardworking and an all-around data whiz, they qualify.

"We've all had data management nightmares," said Anne Buff of SAS Best Practices. "And trust me, staying awake for days to avoid bad data dreams doesn't fix things." So who are you going to call to help with your data management problems? "The beloved expert data steward," said Buff. "There is truly no higher honor in the field -- and we're excited to add a fifth member to our Data Stewards Hall of Fame."

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