Ohio State Leads Big Ten Data Governance Group

Ohio State is working to create a dedicated data governance program through the Enterprise Project. Data governance builds trust in the institution’s information assets by establishing shared understanding of data availability, quality and usability.

To complement the university’s data governance efforts, Ohio State led the creation of the Data Governance group, a peer group organized under the Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA) Chief Information Officers group. The Data Governance group serves as a forum to advance data governance work across the Big Ten and consists of representatives from each member institution.

Earlier this month, Ohio State hosted the first in-person meeting for the Data Governance group at the Big Ten Conference Center in Chicago. In addition to sharing experiences and learnings, the group agreed to pursue collaborative work on three top projects:

  1. Coordinating a collective customer voice for those institutions using or considering Data Cookbook (an institutional data governance tool) to better influence future product development.
  2. Aligning on a common definition of data governance and associated program functions to provide a consistent understanding for leaders throughout the Big Ten.
  3. Creating a shared curriculum outline to support data literacy training.

The BTAA Data Governance group includes members from each Big Ten institution.
Laura Gast, Data Governance and Policy Lead, chairs the group on Ohio State’s behalf. She feels the collaborative projects will help set a solid foundation for data governance programs across the Big Ten.

“If we’re all pulling in the same direction, that’s a lot more efficient than if we build our own program and every other institution builds theirs separately,” says Gast. “This way, we can get our programs up and running even faster. We’re very excited!”

Twenty-one representatives from 14 of the 15 member institutions attended the meeting, demonstrating a strong interest in data governance across the conference. While the institutions are at varying levels of data governance maturity, there is a unifying goal of advancing data governance and using institutional data for decision-making.

“Our first in-person meeting was a truly collaborative experience,” says Mike Noel, Senior Director for Administrative Information Systems at the University of Iowa. “I’ve been attending BTAA meetings since 1999 and this meeting was one of the best. I appreciated the great formal and informal conversations plus the opportunity to build relationships.”