Getting the most from our data

Data Governance Framework 

Across the collegiate University people are creating, storing and using data. Data is a valuable asset and often it is treated as such, through careful stewardship and management. 

The Data Governance Framework will enable more efficient and effective gathering, analysis and reporting of high-value administrative data. In the longer term the Framework will be able to be applied to other data types.

If you work with – or you are responsible for - shared administrative data, the chances are that data governance will affect your work in some way. That could be through decreased effort associated with finding, using and reporting data, through decreased rework and duplication, or through increased confidence in decisions informed by data. Having more confidence in your data could help you measure the impact of your improvement initiatives, or save time in the early stages of a project.

The Data Governance Framework establishes policies, procedures, roles and tools that will enable data to be sourced and re-used with confidence. It therefore underpins other 'data' projects, and will assist future IT projects by providing the structures to support effective data management and integration. It will make it easier for anyone who processes administrative data to ensure that:  

  • they're getting their data from the right place
  • the data they create and use is of the right quality
  • they're using the right definitions - the same ones that their colleagues and outside bodies use
  • they know who to go to with questions about data
Components of data governance

During the first phase of the project, we:

  • developed the data stewards' responsibilities and started to identify those people across the University who could take on these roles
  • developed the process for agreeing consistent definitions for key data, and created and validated data definitions for various data areas, including aspects of teaching and learning and 'people' data
  • began to develop the data source assessment methodology.                                                                           

We are now in Phase 2, and between now and the close of the project in summer 2020 the focus is on:

pie chart yellow and green
  • establishing stewardship and standards for the areas which already have data definitions. These include data for Teaching and Learning and person demographics
  • holding workshops to draft consistent HR definitions; establishing definitions and governance arrangements for 'people' data linked to identity and access management
  • looking at how data governance could benefit areas including Facilities and Property Management, Widening Engagement, Development and Alumni Relations
  • initiating work with areas around the University that create or use smaller volumes of data, to understand their needs  
  • developing the policies, protocols and procedures that will underpin and maintain the Data Governance Framework. This documentation will be tested on the selected data areas while the project is ongoing, and be applicable to all data areas post project.

While the project is live we expect to implement the new Framework against just a sample of shared administrative data. To deliver ongoing benefit, it is vital that the effort is sustained and that data governance continues to be applied, in the longer term, to all relevant administrative data.

As you might already know, there are several initiatives currently in flight in IT Services and the Focus Programme that are aimed at improving the quality and accessibility of the data we use.

The project teams involved are looking at how they can work more closely together to maximise impact for data stakeholders. We'll provide updates on our webpages and by email. To join our mailing list, email

BI Data Warehouse Refresh

This is the second of two projects aimed at improving technologies, data structures and support to future-proof and better utilise the existing University Data Warehouse. The warehouse is currently used for selected student, research administration and purchasing data, and the improvements will enable additional types to be added. It will make it easier to comply with legal requirements around data security and to analyse and report information, and it will save resources by streamlining technology. For more information, email