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Assigning Ownership of Tables

Estimated reading: 3 minutes

You can assign ownership of a single table to individuals or teams. You can also assign owners to a set of tables in bulk, adding all the owners in a single transaction.

Note: You can assign owners to tables in Stemma, but not to dashboards. Stemma ingests ownership of dashboards from the underlying BI tool(s) and you need to make updates and modifications in those tools.

The importance of ownership

Ownership is one of the fundamental pillars of a data catalog. It defines responsibility by individual users and teams, adding tremendous value to the data in the catalog, including:

  • Delegation of duties: Which users are responsible for keeping this table properly documented?
  • Compliance with processes and procedures: Has the right team updated the documentation for this table before the newest pull request is merged?
  • Reporting and analytics: Which teams have the highest percentage of their assets documented? The lowest?

For advice on assigning ownership, see Best Practices for Table Ownership

Assigning ownership to an individual table

You can assign ownership of a table either to individuals or teams:

  • Individuals are the people in your company who use Stemma. You can find individuals by their email address or a Slack handle.
  • Teams are represented in Stemma by Slack channels.

To assign one or more owners to an individual table, choose the table in the Stemma UI and click on Add Owner at the bottom of the left panel.

But Stemma also allows you to bulk-assign table ownership across the catalog. You can do this in a single transaction, immediately allowing your users to identify the assets that belong to them.

Assigning owners in bulk

You may think about ownership as a hierarchy, or your teams may typically own all of the tables within a single database or schema, or perhaps your analysts use Dbt to create their own workflows and create tables with specific naming conventions (e.g. marketing_salesmarketing_prospects). Regardless of how your company thinks about grouping assets, Stemma can help you to bulk-assign owners, using advanced search to find any of the assets you want to update and assigning the owners with a single command.
To assign ownership of tables in bulk, proceed as follows:

  1. From the home page of the Stemma UI, navigate to Advanced Search.
  2. At the top of the left panel, make sure only the Tables resource is checked (you can’t bulk-assign owners to dashboards).
  3. Optionally use the filters in the left panel to limit the search results to the set of tables to which you want to bulk assign ownership:
    • Stemma suggests you limit your search results using only the filters on the left; while you can also use the search bar at the top, doing so makes it more likely that tables that you don’t want included slip into the results
  4. Click on Bulk Edit at the bottom right of the page and choose Add Owners.
  5. In the dialog box, enter or select an email address or Slack channel and choose Add.
  6. To add more owners, repeat Step 5 for each new owner.
  7. When you are finished, click Add Owners and then Done.

Stemma automatically pulls in the teams you’ve defined as well as the list of users in your organization:

Note: When you assign ownership in bulk, this does not trigger automatic messages to the owners and users; that only happens when you change to assign ownership individually.