Project Phases

Implementation of a mature data governance structure is a long-term process and is therefore designed to unfold in waves or phases that are directionally correct. Progress is iterative, with successive phases ultimately defined in response to Dartmouth-specific interests and in response to prior phases. Data governance principles will be applied to a known in-scope dataset to start. Results will be reviewed at regular meetings of the Steering Committee, and feedback provided.

Phase One

Phase One of the data governance implementation process at Dartmouth focuses on establishing the basic structures within business units around which data governance practices are aligned. Recognizing that units may be involved with multiple data systems, units that are stewards of core source system institutional data are the focus of Phase One because that is the locus of control for data-related decisions and practices.

Units will engage in the following activities:

1. Identify the positions and charge individuals who serve in these data governance roles:

  • Subject Area Data Stewards have responsibility for the management of institutional data in a given source system, and have authority to grant access to data for their functional area, generally associate deans, associate vice presidents, or directors.
  • Subject Area Data Custodians are responsible for day-to-day operational data collection and management, generally managers of data systems or senior data analysts within business units.

2. Create documentation to be made accessible within the college:

  • Identify data systems stewarded by relevant units
  • Identify principles and criteria by which individuals within the college are granted access to data
  • Identify principles and criteria by which individuals within the college are denied access to data
  • Identify timeline for receiving and responding to access requests

Phase Two

The focus of Phase Two will be on documenting, regularizing, and protecting data, as well as the retention/disposition of institutional data. The role of the Steering Committee, and the procedures for data access requests, will be reviewed in Phase Two.  Whereas Phase One was focused on data in business units, Phase II will address cross-institutional data needs.

1. Identify the position and charge individuals who serve in this data governance role:

  • Data Users have been granted access to institutional data to perform assigned duties or functions at the college.

2. Create documentation accessible within the college:

  • Identify the process for receiving and responding to access requests.
  • Develop training materials that provide an orientation to data governance basics: glossary, principles, developing practices, etc.

3. Creation and maintenance of metadata schema for core data to ensure transparency:

  • Focusing on core source system data, create a living resource available to data users containing for each data element:
    • Name
    • Description
    • Source system
    • Example of values
    • Sensitivity
    • Location (column name)
  • For supporting data, what are the supplementary attributes that enhance the record in the dataset?

4. Records Management:

  • Retention
  • Final disposition

5. Protecting Institutional Data:

  • Identify how the data within source systems are classified per the DISC policy
  • Describe the criticality of the institutional data
  • Describe security controls applied to the institutional data
  • Audit use of institutional data

The Data Governance Steering Committee will:

  • Meet periodically to review results of Phase Two, and subsequent Phases
  • Settle questions pertaining to the Data Governance initiative at Dartmouth

Phase Three and Beyond

The focus of Phase Three will be streamlining institutional support for data governance across units. Activities will consider how the framework is operationalized within units and identify ways to streamline and create efficiencies. Based on Phase One and Phase Two results, activities are expected to include:

  • Meetings of data governance role-holders across units (e.g. all data stewards) to align practices and identify needs for institutional support
  • Development of data systems roadmap(s) to maximize data governance principles
  • Development of shared data dictionary resources to reduce effort and increase usability
  • Refinement of processes to maximize efficacy and minimize burden
  • Review the role of the Steering Committee
  • Review the procedures for data access requests
  • Development of regular training schedule and materials for ongoing use