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Data governance adds value to our administrative and academic data systems by the establishment of standards that promote data integrity and enables strategic integrations of information systems.

Institutional data are assets maintained to support Vanderbilt’s central mission of teaching, research, and service. To support effective and innovative management, institutional data must be accessible, must correctly represent the information intended, and must be easily integrated across Vanderbilt University’s information systems to support the organization’s strategic plans.

Data governance is an institution-wide framework of principles and decision-making structures and roles. This framework will enable Vanderbilt to manage its data intentionally and consistently to deliver maximum value in support of the institutional mission.

This framework will uphold moving Vanderbilt toward complying with the following principles:

Data is a valued asset.

  • Data has value as much as other assets such as buildings, vehicles, or money.
  • Institutional data does not “belong” to individuals or units – rather it is managed by them on behalf of the University.

Data is managed.

  • Data shall be appropriately managed (i.e., collected, stored, protected and used) throughout its life cycle.
  • Data management shall be a core capability that is an integral part of the University’s culture.
  • Named roles with specific responsibilities for the curation of data from data entry to archive or disposal should be defined, trained, and appropriately resourced.
  • The single, master source for each different type of data shall be identified and data systems and integrations structured to rely on that source.
  • Data is fit for purpose.
  • Data shall be accurate and complete, at the appropriate quality for its primary purpose and all other known legitimate uses.
  • Data shall be monitored so it can be trusted. Data owners have the role of accountability and oversight to assure this trust, with decisions and actions recorded at an appropriate level of detail.

Data is accessible, comparable and reusable.

  • Data shall be made available where and when required, subject to appropriate security constraints.
  • Standards will be consistently applied to encourage reuse, and promote a common understanding of context, meaning, and comparability.
  • Data shall be easy to find, quick to understand, and simple to compare.
  • Data shall be consistent and predictable, avoiding harm caused by conflicting versions.

Data is secure and compliant with regulations.

  • Data shall be protected against unwanted, or unauthorized access. Appropriate confidentiality shall be maintained.
  • Data shall be acquired, used, stored and disposed of in compliance with the law and applicable standards, regulations and contractual obligations.
  • Data integrity protects the university from reputational, financial, and regulatory damage