This information is absolutely vital-what changed and when? Without that documentation, you have no way of knowing if your data is complete, if its actually correct or if its been corrupted. Love your database managers. So, back to who actually owns the data. Even if your imminently wise IT manager has the bases covered as far as database ownership and all, do you actually own the data elements? No. You own the intelligence that comes from using the data, and any subsequent storage and retrieval of that intelligence, but you don’t really get to decide the data elements that comprise that intelligence.

For instance, the US Social Security number. The US Government owns it-its structure and rules, and the content assigned per individual. Your company has no say in the matter. It can, however, be used in multiple ways. Some IT systems use all nine characters-with or without the dashes-while some only keep the last four, six, or seven. Other countries have personal identification numbers that look nothing like the US SSN. Now what?


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