Data dominates on EDUCAUSE’s annual list of the “top 10 IT issues” for higher education institutions as 5 of the issues are about data. Focus this year is about achieving trusted data and putting data to work. Data and its accompanying analytics should give more than just information and must provide desired outcomes such as making higher education more affordable and helping increase student success rates. Many institutions are struggling or just getting started with integrating critical systems and delivering effective data governance along with the protection of student’s personal information. The goal is to have trusted data. Use this data meaningfully and ethically. IData is a big believer in the advice in the 2019 list located on Educause’s website so decided to highlight this list on our blog.
Here are EDUCAUSE’s the five top IT issues in higher education related to trusted data for 2019:
- Information Security Strategy (#1 on list): Developing a risk-based security strategy that effectively detects, responds to, and prevents security threats and challenges.
- Privacy (#3 on list): Safeguarding institutional constituents’ privacy rights and maintaining accountability for protecting all types of restricted data.
- Digital Integrations (#5 on list): Ensuring system interoperability, scalability, and extensibility, as well as data integrity, security, standards, and governance, across multiple applications and platforms.
- Data-Enabled Institution (#6 on list): Taking a service-based approach to data and analytics to reskill, retool, and reshape a culture to be adept at data-enabled decision-making.
- Data Management and Governance (#8 on list): Implementing effective institutional data governance (also called data intelligence) practices and organizational structures.
Regarding security, data must be secure to protect the institution’s reputation, its students and staff’s privacy and the institution’s assets. Privacy was brought to the forefront due to GDPR in 2018. People will interact with institutions who handle their data respectively and are easy to do busy with. Integration is becoming increasingly important due to the increase in the number of data systems and the explosion in the amount of data along with the need for integration between data systems. Data governance including system inventory makes integration easier. Data-enabled higher education institutions must understand the meaning and accuracy of institutional data as well as how data is maintained and kept usable. Without accurate data, decisions-making will be more difficult. Higher education leaders can make successful decisions if they at the right time have the access to trusted data. Data governance and data intelligence is not about control. It is about advising and helping the institution’s employees. Effective data management and governance is the foundation on which decision making is built.
The Educause 2019 list communicates much of what we have said at IData over the past few years. We agree that data should be a focus at higher education institutions as improvements will translate into big advances. And improvements are necessary to give students, professors, and administrators increased access to data. Data needs to be unlocked and accessible so that it can be trusted and made actionable. Greater effectiveness and efficiency are achieved when data is governed, managed and integrated better. IData helps institutions understand the necessary data components (find the data, clean it, standardize it, safeguard it) as well as assisting with integration.
Now is the time to follow the Educause’s and IData’s advice. Also check out IData’s data governance resources page.
IData has a solution, the Data Cookbook, that can aid the employees and the institution in its data governance and data quality 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.
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