Since it is the beginning of the year, it is a good time to think about the information technology (IT) challenges, issues, and priorities for the year. Make sure that the organization’s strategic plan is taken into account when discussing and formulating the IT priorities. The year 2020 was a challenging one for everyone including those in IT and caused great change that will still be felt in 2021. Educause has come out with its article on the 2021 Top IT Issues for higher education institutions. Another excellent piece by Educause that should be reviewed by higher education IT folks. Here is a link to the article. We thought we would briefly mention the article and put down some thoughts in this blog post on the importance of data governance in handling these IT priorities.
Included in the Educause article are three potential scenarios that help guide higher education leaders which are:
- Restore (involving cost management, online learning, financial health, affordability/digital equity, and information security)
- Evolve (involving student success, equitable access to education, online learning, information security, and financial health)
- Transform (involving institutional culture, technology alignment, technology strategy, enrollment/recruitment, and cost management)
Data governance is critical in all these scenarios but particularly in the transform scenario. Data governance assists with institutional culture for transformation including trust in data and data driven decision making. Data governance helps with developing an enterprise architecture (think bigger than department) that keeps pace with strategic change. Data governance supports cost management (better decisions, better data, getting rid of redundant systems) and the focus on digital transformation (understanding data lineage and integrations). And data governance helps identify and apply sustainable strategies and innovations (increased collaboration and enterprise wide thinking).
Here are some thoughts on achieving your priorities for the year:
- Understand what data systems you have. Inventory your data including privacy levels.
- Determine where the data is going and how it flows into and out of your organization especially with third parties. This could involve data sharing agreements to protect privacy.
- Document the present and ideal states of data integration.
- Establish data governance (getting the Data Cookbook to use as the framework) so that there is a clear understanding of what data you have, where it is, who owns it, who maintains it and the assessment of its data quality.
We hope that this blog post is a reminder of setting your IT priorities for the calendar year. Make sure that these priorities are enterprise wide and are aligned with the strategic priorities for the organization. And that data governance is a key component of these priorities.
IData has a solution, the Data Cookbook, that can aid the employees and the organization in its data governance, data stewardship 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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