Data Stewardship

Data is useful. High-quality, well-understood, auditable data is priceless.

- Ted Friedman, Gartner

About the Initiative

Guiding Principles

Data Stewardship is a University strategic initiative designed to develop a common, transparent data language and cultivate a collaborative culture in a time of burgeoning technologies that create siloed organizations. The primary objectives include:

  • Eliminate roadblocks to effective data-driven decision-making
  • Foster communication between all data-producing institutional units
  • Improve awareness and visibility of data elements and their intended uses
  • Maximize on existing data and enable opportunities for new data


The primary objective is to involve representatives from the entire campus community to come together and develop "one voice" in how we talk about data and what it represents in daily use and reporting. The community includes Data Partners representing functional areas, Data Custodians who are neutral moderators, and Data Sponsors, the University's executive planning committee. Some of these goals include:

  • Assess the accuracy of and gain consensus on existing data definitions
  • Establish new definitions for key terminology for which reporting is needed or already in use
  • Evaluate business processes and data entry standards surrounding data collection and management
  • Identify and address pre-existing and/or potential data issues
  • Follow a formal workflow for approval of data-related changes


The initial focus of the Data Stewardship effort is on student-related data, including admissions, biographical/demographic, etc. Additional subject areas may include (but are not limited to) CRM, Finance, and Human Resources. The focus and contents of the Data Dictionary evolve organically in conjunction with the University's reporting needs and the impetus for clarification on related data elements.



Join the Conversation

To stay up to date and join the conversation around Data Stewardship, please request to be added to the Google Group (which replaced the previous listserv) by providing your information here.