What to Store in a Data Systems Inventory

What to Store in a Data Systems Inventory

StockSnap_KV6IATK4SM_DataInventoryQuestion_BP.jpgIt is critical to know where your data resides.  Therefore, it is necessary to  inventory all of the data systems used at the institution.  This post  discusses what to include in an inventory.  The inventory should be published in your tool of choice.

A number of tools could be used to store the data systems inventory including: a  spreadsheet, on a wiki site or using a data governance solution like the Data Cookbook.

Here are the basics:

  • Data system name
  • Data system version
  • General description of data system
  • Data system technology type (operating system, database, etc.)
  • Data system technology version
  • Data system location (on-premise including server name or in the cloud)
  • Data system request access process
  • Data system owner (technical) and data stewards (business) including contact information

Here are optional items to include:

  • Resources and documentation
  • Technical metadata (data models)
  • Usage (specifications, reports, etc.)
  • Data quality assessment (process)

All the above items are included in the Enterprise Edition of the Data Cookbook by IData.

Additional items like the following custom fields can be added:

  • Size (number of items in data system)
  • Retention time period (policy) and when data system can be retired
  • Other data systems connected to this data system

A data systems inventory can be as simple as you desire and put in whatever tool that works best for your institution.  The easier way to create a data systems inventory is to implement a data governance solution like the Data Cookbook, the leading data governance solution for high education solutions.  Meet with others at your institution to come up with the list of systems and information to include in the inventory.  Start simple.  Make sure that the information is available to all parties that need to see the information.  And make sure that the information is kept up to date.  Remember that IData is available to assist.  Feel free to Contact Us.

(image credit:  StockSnap_KV6IATK4SM_DataInventoryQuestion_BP  #1043)

Brenda Reeb
About the Author

Brenda is a consultant in data management, data governance, and the information needs of users. She has over 20 years' experience providing services and solutions in higher education. Brenda has designed and implemented data management policies, established workflows, and created metadata. She is an experienced advocate for data management at all levels of an organization.

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