At the end of March 2019, IT managers and executives took part in an intensive four-day workshop on data governance. They came together to discuss data strategic value at the University of Ottawa as well as expectations, needs, challenges, and opportunities related to information and data. Data is a valuable resource for today’s leaders who depend on it to make business and strategic decisions. How can the University also make data-driven decisions? By starting with the basics.
The University needs to create a structure. The workshop’s focus was to build the University data governance anatomy and to highlight the strategic value of data. The group used several business use cases to reveal data-related challenges and opportunities. Participants also carried out an assessment on the University’s current data governance structure. They defined gaps and prioritized areas of focus and initiatives required to attain the desired target state. Their common vision for the organization will help to develop its direction and long-term goals.
As each organization is unique, it needs to create its own data governance model that would meet its specific needs. For uOttawa, the suggested data governance structure will include:
- Working groups to identify data challenges affecting the University and recommend solutions while defining data policies and procedures;
- Data Governance Committee to oversee and facilitate cross-functional data initiatives and integration of technology while continuously monitoring data initiatives progress; and
- Information Governance Council to constitute the decision authority on unresolved data conflicts while creating awareness and cultural change within the organization.
A data governance structure will allow the University to define what needs to be measured, according to clear objectives, in order to obtain precise and in-context data with organizational value. A better understanding of the data will enable the University to better serve students, academia and employees, and to improve operational strategies.