Data governance is an institutional priority and it is critical to give all employees the resources and training to achieve this priority as soon as they walk in the door.
The on-boarding or training of new higher education employees has a significant impact on both employee retention and benefit to the institution. New employees want to be trained well at their start so that they can be an asset to their institution as soon as possible. Make sure that data governance is part of the initial training process so that the new employee does not get bad data habits or make mistakes regarding data. New employees must understand that data governance and good data management practices are part of their job expectations and responsibilities. Communication is key in the data governance process and providing a new employee with the right information at their start is important. You want the initial training experience to be consistent for all new hires.
Initial training is done differently at every institution due to size of institution, staffing and position of new employee. Discuss with Human Resources (HR) how data governance can be a part of the standard initial training process for new employees. Create resources (basic information sheet, videos, web pages, etc.) that can be used repeatedly in the data governance initial training - and that can be self-directed at the new employee's learning pace. If possible, try to make the initial training as specific to the department that new employee is in.
The data governance initial training can be broken down into 5 parts:
1) Basic Information Sheet – Normally new employees get a packet of information from Human Resources. Ask HR if you can include an information sheet in this packet regarding data governance. Keep it simple and no more than one page. Hopefully the new employee will post it somewhere near their monitor. On this sheet, include importance of data governance, list of data governance groups and contacts, where they can go to get additional information and the process for submitting data quality issues and data requests.
2) First Training – If possible, have a face to face meeting (or phone call) with the new employee shortly after their start and cover the following:
- Benefits and importance of data governance which could include: saves time, saves money, lowers frustration, enhanced service to students and staff, better decision making, improved compliance, better data security and more efficient use of resources
- Data governance terminology (PII, data steward, data owner, etc.)
- Name, purpose and membership of data governance teams as well as the contact information for the data steward that would be the primary steward for the new employee
- How to submit a data request and what is the usual process
- How to submit a data quality issue and what is the usual process
- Overview of institution's data systems and how the employee gets access to the systems they need (might be covered in IT initial training)
3) Assignments – At the first training, provide the new employee with a list of assignments that they can do when they have some spare moments. Provide them enough time to get their assignments done and have them write up a quick review of what they thought of the materials and if they had any questions. These assignments could include watching videos, watching recorded webinars, reading eBooks, reading blog posts, reviewing websites, etc.).
4) Follow-Up Training – Maybe a month after employee start, have another face to face meeting (or a phone call) with the employee to see if they have any data governance related questions including on the tools that they need to use. Confirm that the new employee has gained access to the appropriate resources (such as data sources, reporting tools and data governance tools). Try to judge the effectiveness of the training so that improvements can be made for the next new employee.
5) Resource Page – Publish a web page that contains information that the new employee (and all employees) can access which might contain:
- Links to outside vendor/association resources (such as IData Data Governance Resources Page or Educause articles on the subject), such as blog posts, ebooks, articles and recorded webinars, that would be educational
- Links to training materials (videos, presentations)
- Links to any reference data, standards, data definitions, knowledge bases, and data systems inventory
- If exists, link to terminology or definitions information
- Links to training resources on tools used (such as Data Cookbook, help desk ticketing system)
We recommend, where appropriate, that data governance tasks/responsibilities be written into the employee's job description. A great initial training program is beneficial to the new employee and to the institution. And great data governance initial training of new employees will help with providing a data driven decision-making culture at the higher education institution. Hope this blog post helped.
IData has a solution, the Data Cookbook, that can aid the employees and the institution in its data governance. 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.
(image credit StockSnap_WQGKUYRJWJ_Onboarding #1075)