Data Governance at Yale

November 1, 2018

Provost Ben Polak has convened a new Data Governance Committee (DGC), co-chaired by Tim Pavlis, the Associate Vice President, Strategic Analysis and Institutional Research, and Chief Information Officer John Barden, to introduce a common set of data management policies, practices, and artifacts to the Yale community.

What is data governance?

Data Governance ensures good stewardship of Yale’s institutional data, coordinating organizational efforts to provide and use high-quality data in a consistent, meaningful, and secure manner. The DGC will support decision makers through curated and expert-informed institutional administrative data. Maureen Velazquez, Yale’s new Data Governance Manager, will staff the committee and guide the development of data catalogs, steward directories, and data documentation for informed data users.

Which data stewards will participate?

Committee members are current partners in the development and delivery of the new Common Reporting Platform (CoRe) for Yale.  CoRe will offer new tools for administrative data integration, analysis, and institutional reporting. Governance, security, and communication tactics will help to optimize the benefits of CoRe.

Data domain stewards are Yale leaders with operational and administrative management accountability for some source system data, including access rights, scheduling of system updates and upgrades, and insight into appropriate data uses or use restrictions. Domain stewards are responsible for data quality remediation activities. They identify subject matter experts to partner with and inform ITS data solutions developers. The following leaders are serving as 2018 data domain stewards:

  • Pamela Caudill - Research Administration
  • Emily Shandley - Student Resources
  • Karen Anderson - Faculty
  • Sondra Cruver - Alumni Affairs & Development
  • Jacqueline Tucker - Finance
  • Judy Offutt - Human Resources

Functional data stewards are Yale leaders with cross-domain responsibilities and broad data use communities beyond their functional department. Functional stewards will consult frequently with data users in the communities they serve, to ensure that user needs are paramount in data governance decisions. Functional experts participating the the Data Governance Committee include:

  • Lily Svensen - Institutional Research
  • Paul Rivers - Information Security
  • Ryan Schlagheck - Reporting & Analytics
  • TBD - Office of the General Counsel
  • TBD - Business Operations

What is the primary focus of the Data Governance Committee?

The DGC will focus on institutional administrative data with wide audiences, important cross-domain connections, and clear stewards. With assistance from Working Groups of subject matter experts per data domain, the committee will compile a catalog of authoritative data sources with corresponding stewards. Data Governance participants will help to define and confirm the descriptive attributes or metadata for data elements and metrics that are derived from these systems. Data Governance partners will also identify business rules to protect the integrity and accuracy of data that is integrated and transformed in CoRe. Data Governance will also characterize data classifications, or levels of associated risk per data element to guide access procedures that safeguard sensitive or restircted data as needed.

The Data Governance Committee met for the first time in October. After introductions and a review of the charter, vision, and roles of data stewards, the members discussed and approved the initial data security model for Research Enterprise data consumers through CoRe. CoRe will integrate data from both IRES and Workday Finance to provide insight about the lifecycle of research initiatives, from the proposal stage, through a detailed accounting of corresponding expenditures.

A new website for institutional reporting and data governance consumers is under development to share insights, updates, and best practices with the Yale community.

The audio transcript from a recent lunch and learn on “Data Governance at Yale” is available for anyone interested. To receive a copy of the lunch and learn slides, the charter for the Data Governance Committee, or to simply learn more about Data Governance at Yale, please contact Maureen Velazquez.