Data Governance

Data Governance & Analysis Committee Charge Letter

(Original on UW Office of the Provost letterhead)

September 14, 2018

Aaron Powell, Vice President, UW Information Technology, Co-Chair
Phil Reid, Vice Provost, Academic & Student Affairs, Co-Chair
Sarah Hall, Associate Vice Provost, Office of Planning & Budgeting
Joe Janes, Associate Professor, Information School
Brian McCartan, Vice President, UW Finance

Dear Colleagues,

Thank you for your willingness to serve on the University of Washington’s Data Governance and Analysis Committee. We are charging the Committee with developing a comprehensive data and analysis strategy for the University, with the ultimate goal of creating and fostering a best-in-class environment for institutional analysis. The scope is limited to academic, research administration, and business data, and excludes other areas such as patient data. This Committee is advisory to the two of us, and we look forward to receiving your report in December 2018.

There is increasing demand for and reliance upon data and analysis for decision-making at the University, but current and anticipated structures and data-analysis capabilities are not adequate to meet this increasing demand. There are also growing challenges to data security. The University must therefore address its weaknesses in data governance, standards, access, and analysis tools. This in turn requires the development of a comprehensive strategy, to include objectives, timelines, and resources.

Following on the work of the recent Data Governance Task Force report, we ask the Committee to identify short, medium, and long-term deliverables, together with timelines and responsible “owners” with respect to three primary initiative areas: data governance, data architecture and data resources, and data analysis.

  1. Data Governance
    Governance involves the organizational structures and processes through which the University decides how data are developed, stored, and used. It also involves the definition and prioritization of future data, infrastructure, and analysis needs. The Committee is tasked to:

    • Evaluate the viability and fit of the two-tiered governance structure consisting of a strategy committee and an operational committee, as proposed in the March 2018 report by the Data Governance Task Force. Define the roles, responsibilities, and membership for the strategy and operational committees. Please take into account the need to be representative of all three
    • Define the relationship between these committees and other governance groups with data governance and compliance-related responsibilities. For example, define the relationship between the Institutional Review Board and the new governance structure.
    • Provide an implementation/operational model for the governance structure, including a timeline for implementation, expected cadence of work, and needed resources.
  2. Data Architecture and Data Resources
    Data architecture defines the environments in which data governance, data assembly, and data analysis take place. The Committee should:

    • Review current processes for enabling data access, and propose areas for streamlining.
    • Identify the most important current gaps in institutional data collection at the UW, and suggest means for promptly addressing these gaps.
    • Identify mechanisms for classifying and providing new data resources to data consumers.
    • Define the process whereby the UW identifies, discusses, and escalates data-related issues.
  3. Data Analysis
    Data analysis involves the translation of data into actionable information. It requires the identification of analytical needs and the services to address them. The Committee should:

    • Provide a list of high-impact areas for analytics and expert analysis, and define the specific need, requirements, and benefits thereof. Such areas may include student success and retention, academic programming, and operational reports involving personnel data, budget variances, and compensation forecasting.
    • Define best practices for identifying the evolving data analysis needs of the UW, including vehicles for individuals to communicate their needs, stakeholder outreach efforts, and other mechanisms.
    • Define best practices for meeting the data analysis needs of the UW, including the most cost-effective mechanisms for providing support at the departmental, school/college, administrative unit, and campus levels.

The Office of the Vice President UW-IT and CIO will support the Data Governance and Analysis Committee administratively, and Anja Canfield-Budde will provide technical support.

Thank you for your willingness to serve the UW community in this important capacity.


Mark A. Richards
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs
Professor, Earth and Space Sciences

Jeffrey F. Scott, Ed.D.
Executive Vice President
UW Finance & Administration