Who should “own” the database?

Who should "own" the database?

One of the most common questions I get from my clients is "Who should have responsibility for the database?" That is typically followed by "Should it be the membership department, or IT, or somewhere else?"

Back in the day, I would recommend that whoever was "closest" to the data should manage it. For example, if most of the data revolved around membership, put it in the membership department. Or maybe it's mostly events, or certifications. But wherever the bulk of the data is, that's who should "own" the database.

Over time I've come to modify my thinking. I believe the person who should "own" the database is the person who is most passionate about the data itself. This isn't about what department the person is in or even what this person's title is. The person (or team) I want to manage the data is the person or team who cares most passionately about the data within the organization.

In my experience, almost every organization has this, either by design or default. If it's by design, good for you. If it's by default, you should formally recognize that this person has the authority to manage the data and the system.

Passion about the data, not title or department, will be your key to success.

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