Better, Inexpensive Way to Establish Data Governance in Higher Education

Better, Inexpensive Way to Establish Data Governance in Higher Education

StockSnap_SDM03P88BO_DG_Inexpensive_Way_BPWe are a firm believer of just-in-time data governance.  In this blog post we will cover less expensive, better ways to do data governance over the more typical (and more costly) ways. 

Here are side by side comparisons:

Typical Costly Way

Less Expensive, Better Way

Try to solve everything at once – knowledge, security, quality, lineage, etc.

Focus on current reporting demands

Create new positions and hire new people

Identify existing staff as data stewards in each area

Get everyone’s input and approval before moving forward

Grant data stewards the authority to make unilateral decisions in their own domain

Create multi-tiered hierarchical committee structure

Allow stewards to establish standards and escalate issues regarding the management of data

Create definitions as a committee

Build up descriptive metadata as reports are built

All data steward tasks are done by technical people

Promote the attitude that data belongs to everyone, work on the functional definitions first and allow non-technical data stewards

Focus data governance efforts on the IT and technical teams

Enable and support the data stewards of all teams as well as focus on training, buy-in and accessibility of all data users

Focus training and implementation time on tools training and technical issues

Focus on training on people, process and data, not tools

Build a data warehouse to enforce that everyone shares a single version of the truth and promote controlling attitude

Create a shared knowledgebase for data definitions (functional and technical) and promote a data guidance attitude

Develop a big, targeted data governance initiative and force it on all departments without justification and buy-in

Develop small and practical data governance processes that can be done every day or as we say just-in-time and explain reasons for data governance

Have philosophy that data governance is about control, is rigid and is only about the data

Have philosophy that data governance is about guidance, being flexible, helping people and making decisions

Only allow access to data deliverables to a few individuals

Allow access to data deliverables to as many folks as need it

There is no central knowledgebase

There is a central knowledgebase

Purchase different packages to handle various data governance items (data quality, data requests, business glossary, data steward workflows, etc.)

Purchase best of breed data governance solution that handles all the necessary data governance items

Use general purpose packages (SharePoint, spreadsheets, etc.) to handle data governance that requires a great deal of development and setup time as well as being costly over the long run

Select best of breed data governance solution that provides framework for data governance and can scale

Create your own integrations to grab information about data from various sources that requires a great deal of development time and is very costly over the long run

Use data governance solution that has integration capability with other data systems saving time and cost

Work with vendor that does not understand data governance or higher education which means additional ramp up time and cost

Work with vendor that understands data governance for higher education institutions who can make an immediate impact

Data governance is not easy but don’t make it harder than it must be.  And harder usually means more costly.  Take your time with data governance.  You can’t do it all at once.  Focus on the items in the right-side column which we feel is the most effective and less costly way to do data governance.

Check out our other data governance resources by clicking here.

IData has a solution, the Data Cookbook, that can aid the employees and the institution in its data governance and reporting initiatives. IData also has experts that can assist with data governance, reporting, integration and other technology services on an as needed basis. Feel free to contact us and let us know how we can assist.   Contact Us

(image credit StockSnap_SDM03P88BO_DG_Inexpensive_Way_BP #1086)

Jim Walery
About the Author

Jim Walery is a marketing professional who has been providing marketing services to technology companies for over 20 years and specifically those in higher education since 2010. Jim assists in getting the word out about the community via a variety of channels. Jim is knowledgeable in social media, blogging, collateral creation and website content. He is Inbound Marketing certified by HubSpot. Jim holds a B.A. from University of California, Irvine and a M.A. from Webster University. Jim can be reached at jwalery[at]

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