What is a Data Steering Group and Why have One?


Data is an essential resource for any organization. Without accurate and timely data, organizations cannot make informed decisions or optimize their processes. To ensure that the data within an organization remains relevant and useful, a Data Steering Group may be established to provide guidance and direction. In this post, we will discuss what a Data Steering Group is and why an organization may want to have one.

Section 1: What is a Data Steering Group?

Definition: What is a Steering Group

A Steering Group, also known as a Steering Committee, is a group of individuals responsible for providing strategic direction, oversight, and decision-making for a specific project, initiative, or organization. The group typically includes representatives from various stakeholder groups and serves as a central point of communication and coordination to ensure the success of the project or initiative.

A “Data Steering Group” is a team of individuals within an organization responsible for setting and governing the data strategy, ensuring that data is used as effectively as possible. The group typically consists of representatives from across the business and will include roles such as Chief Information Officer (CIOs), Chief Technology Officers (CTOs), line-of-business heads, or departmental heads. In addition to technology experts, members of the Data Steering Group should also have broad business knowledge and experience. This ensures that decisions on data usage are taken with the wider context in mind.

The primary role of a Data Steering Group is to provide guidance on data initiatives, taking into consideration both short-term needs and long-term goals. It is responsible for setting data strategies and policies, including developing standards that ensure the quality of data. It also works to ensure compliance with relevant data security and information privacy regulations, such as GDPR and CCPA. In addition to this, the Data Steering Group is tasked with identifying opportunities for data-driven innovation, developing plans to implement them, and ultimately determining which initiatives should be pursued and which should be abandoned.

The Data Steering Group is typically chaired by a senior executive in the organization (such as a CIO or CTO), who will set the agenda for each meeting. Members of the group bring different skillsets and expertise to bear on decisions about how best to use data within an organization. Working together, they can create effective data strategies that benefit the organization as a whole.

In summary, a Data Steering Group is an important part of any organization and can be invaluable in helping to set data strategies that are both effective and compliant. By bringing together individuals with different skillsets from across the business, it can provide valuable guidance on how best to use data for the benefit of the organization.

Section 2: Why have a Data Steering Group?

A Data Steering Group (DSG) is an important organizational tool for ensuring data quality and security. It provides a forum for stakeholders from across the enterprise to come together and make informed decisions about data management issues. The DSG is responsible for setting the data governance strategy and ensuring it is aligned with the organization’s overall business objectives.

The benefits of having a Data Steering Group are numerous. By providing a forum for stakeholders to collaborate, the DSG can help ensure that all data initiatives, or business cases, are compliant with applicable regulations while also improving data quality. This improves trust in data-driven decision making and helps teams produce more accurate results. Additionally, the presence of an oversight body like a Data Steering Group leads to greater accountability for mistakes and ensures that important issues are addressed quickly and effectively.

Organizations such as Google, IBM, GE, Microsoft and Intel have implemented successful Data Steering Groups with positive outcomes. These organizations have seen improved data quality, more effective processes for data governance and compliance, and better alignment of data initiatives with business objectives.

In summary, having a Data Steering Group can provide significant benefits in terms of data quality, compliance, and alignment with business objectives. Organizations that have implemented DSGs have seen successful outcomes and results from their efforts. With the right stakeholders and commitment to collaboration, a Data Steering Group could be highly beneficial for any organization looking to optimize the management of its data resources.

Therefore, creating a Data Steering Group is an important step in ensuring proper data management in any organization or company. The DSG provides an oversight body that ensures data initiatives are compliant with applicable regulations and that data quality is never compromised. With the right stakeholders in place, a Data Steering Group can be an invaluable tool for improving data governance and achieving better alignment with business objectives.

Section 3: How to establish a Data Steering Group

The first step to establishing a Data Steering Group is to identify the stakeholders from within the organization who should be part of it. The group should include leadership from IT, operations, finance, marketing, and any other departments that are heavily reliant on data. Additionally, stakeholders outside the organization such as customers or vendors may need to be involved depending on the scope of the data initiatives.

Once all necessary stakeholders have been identified, a charter can be created which outlines the governance structure and objectives of the Data Steering Group. This document should clearly establish roles and responsibilities for each member as well as objectives for guiding data projects through their lifecycle. It should also include metrics that will measure progress towards these objectives in order to ensure accountability across the board.

Finally, the Data Steering Group needs to be effective and remain relevant over time. This can be done by regularly reviewing the charter and metrics to ensure they are still aligned with the organization’s objectives, addressing any changes that may need to be made. Additionally, ensuring open communication among all stakeholders is key for a successful Data Steering Group. Regular meetings should be held in order for members to share updates on their respective initiatives as well as discuss any potential obstacles or opportunities that have arisen. By doing this, the Data Steering Group will continue to make meaningful contributions in guiding data projects through their lifecycle and helping shape the future of an organization’s data-driven decisions.


Having a Data Steering Group is an effective way to ensure data quality and governance are managed in an organization. The group provides the oversight needed to manage data, identify issues, and make decisions that will improve data management practices. With the right resources in place, such as a Data Steering Group, organizations can have confidence that their data is well-managed and secure. Furthermore, having a Data Steering Group can lead to improved decision-making and greater efficiency within an organization. Organizations should consider establishing a Data Steering Group in order to reap the many benefits it has to offer.

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