What Is Data Governance?

What Is Data Governance?


Data governance is the process through which consistent and clear guidance around defining, creating, managing, accessing, and using Western's institutional data are organized and facilitated.  Data governance is a process used to promote and support the responsible use of high-quality institutional data, to facilitate informed and insightful use of these data, and to increase their value to the Western community.

Data governance includes attention to relevant risks, responsibilities, and legal obligations that are important and/or required for the institution. Data governance includes the definition and specification of decision rights and an accountability framework to encourage empowered and responsible behaviour in the valuation, creation, storage, use, archival, and destruction of data. Data governance is largely concerned with practices and processes which are used to ensure formal management of an organization’s data assets, while attending to data leadership, stewardship, quality, sharing and access, security and privacy, and reliability.

Western’s institutional data governance framework does not pertain to data collected for scholarly research.

Appropriate data governance allows Western to understand who within the institution need to be consulted about its operational data ecosystem and who are accountable for making decisions about the character of the data in use.

At an instrumental level, these processes are supported by a robust data taxonomy with associated data roles atrributed at each level.

Data Roles Map

The roles work in conjunction with committee structures, including an Executive Steering Committee (IDESC), who function as the highest level of accountability as it relates to institutional data presence within the university.

The Institutional Data Committee (IDC) functions as an entity where decisions are made about why and how data exist within the university and ratify processes related to data sharing and data leadership.

Data Governance Relationships