Data Stewards: Data Leadership to Address the Challenges of the 21st Century

Data Stewards_screenshot

The GovLab at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering is pleased to announce the launch of its Data Stewards website — a new portal for connecting organizations across sectors that seek to promote responsible data leadership that can address the challenges of the 21st century — developed with generous support from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

Increasingly, the private sector is collaborating with the public sector and researchers on ways to use private-sector data and analytical expertise for public good. With these new practices of data collaborations come the need to reimagine roles and responsibilities to steer the process of using this data, and the insights it can generate, to address society’s biggest questions and challenges: Data Stewards.

Today, establishing and sustaining these new collaborative and accountable approaches requires significant and time-consuming effort and investment of resources for both data holders on the supply side, and institutions that represent the demand. By establishing Data Stewardship as a function — recognized within the private sector as a valued responsibility — the practice of Data Collaboratives can become more predictable, scaleable, sustainable and de-risked.

Together with BrightFront Group and Adapt, we are:

  • Exploring the needs and priorities of current private sector Data Stewards who act as change agents within their firms. Responsible for determining what, when, how and with whom to share private data for public good, these individuals are critical catalysts for ensuring insights are turned into action.
  • Identifying and connecting existing Data Stewards across sectors and regions to create an online and in-person community for exchanging knowledge and best practices.
  • Developing methodologies, tools and frameworks to use data more responsibly, systematically and efficiently to decrease the transaction cost, time and energy currently needed to establish Data Collaboratives.

To learn more about the Data Stewards Initiative, including new insights, ideas, tools and information about the Data Steward of the Year Award program, visit

If you are a Data Steward, or would like to join a community of practice to learn from your peers, please contact to join the Network of Data Stewards.

For more information about The GovLab, visit