Background & Approach

Background & Approach


Our university community uses institutional data daily to ask and answer complex questions to serve our teaching, research, and service mission. And we want to be prepared to answer future questions and draw insights readily.

The demand for data and analysis for decision-making is increasing at all levels of our organization. The amount of data generated, stored, analyzed, and applied is also growing.

We face ongoing demands to comply with a growing list of evolving data privacy and protection legislation and regulations. We are committed to securing and protecting our data while also making it readily available for use that supports mission needs.

We have a diverse distributed data and analytics eco-system with multiple data architectures, systems, processes, and organizations. Data governance facilitates harmonized and often standardized ways of working for faster and better cross-functional data and analysis including an improved user experience.


In February 2020, executive leadership supported moving forward with a data governance program. Refer to the letter of support. The current program, initiated in 2022, is an evolution of significant data governance groundwork (completed 2018 through 2021) and of the initial framework published in 2020.

The first key milestone of the data governance program was the launch of the data & analytics catalog + community pilot planned at the end of 2022. By design, the data governance program kicked off with a limited targeted scope to deliver value quickly while planning and preparing for continued improvement, and expansion of data governance activity.


The Data & Analytics governance program is limited to the Academic Division and focuses on the administrative and academic data domains. This program does not govern access and use of research or health system data.


Our Approach

In partnership with administrative units and schools, IRA is leading three building block workstreams planned for delivery in 2022 through 2024: Catalog, Community, and Governance. The workstreams deliver against the key objectives while facilitating institutional readiness for potential future enterprise-wide data and analytics.


As a first step, the Data Catalog pilot launched November 2022 and next step planning is underway. The pilot, powered by the Alation software, focuses on cataloging and describing institutional data available in University Business Intelligence (UBI) reporting and analytics and the academic division Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW). Beyond the pilot and through continuous feedback, IRA will expand features, processes, and content.


We are launching, hosting, engaging, and providing training to a community of data & analytics practitioners, including data stewardship roles.

As a first step, we are engaging our community of University data analytics practitioners through readily available analytics resources, through the data & analytics catalog + community, and through the Collaborative Analytics Projects community. Next steps will focus on engaging and training designated data stewards (by domain) to specific responsibilities, broader community engagement activities, and continued roll-out of the catalog.


We will establish a cross-functional data & analytics governance structure and operationalize needed standards, processes, and a delivery prioritization method. Refer to current data governance related policies, processes, and guidance.

The first steps are to engage a newly forming Data & Analytics Council (planned for Q2 2023), to develop overarching university data guidance, and improve data processes.

IRA also continues to support data governance related activities for Workday governance, system access request and attestation initiatives, IT data architecture and data platforms, and IT integration services.


Learn more about the Data & Analytics Governance program.