There are many ways to approach data governance in higher education. This post lists the primary approaches and provides a list of items to consider when selecting the best approach for your institution.
The three primary approaches to data governance are:
- Top-Down Approach - Initiative by edict
- Bottom-Up Approach - Rogue – Lead by example
- Hybrid Approach Bottom-up with cover from the top
Which approach would work for you? It depends.
- What is your institution’s culture and urgency? Have you recently received a negative or embarrassing audit? Top-down could work. Are upper-level managers distracted or in flux? Focus on bottom-up. Is there good awareness but no one knows how to get started? Go hybrid. Start small with pilot projects and ask upper managers to tout these successes.
- What is your institution’s size and organizational structure? In our experience, small and medium sized institutions are equally split among the three approaches. Large institutions tend to be top-down.
- Is your institution focused on data security or data knowledge? Security-conscioused institutions tend to start top-down, while data knowledge focussed schools tend to start bottom-up.
When determining what approach would work for your institution, take a practical approach and realize that:
- It is more of a people issue than a technology issue
- You need people to implement data governance
- People are busy
- People resist change
- People have a hard time seeing long-term benefits over short-term time savings
- People need a reason to do something
- People work better with real-world outcomes
- If this does not help people deliver on their job responsibilities, then they will not do it
- Be careful of incentives, they work
Our experience has found that a hybrid approach works best.
If you need help in implementing data governance remember that IData provides data governance services. A data governance solution like the Data Cookbook is a tremendous help in successful implementation of data governance at a higher education institution. Feel free to .
(image credit StockSnap_0TZONVQ7CN_DGApproachWalkway_BP #1019)