Limestone University Data Governance

What is Data Governance?

Data Governance is a framework of accountabilities and processes for making decisions and monitoring the execution of data management.

Data governance is a fundamental part of institutional operations. An effective data governance framework ensures the integrity and accuracy of our student systems and business operations as well as providing appropriate accountability. The mark of success for a data governance framework is for data governance to become invisible—silently ensuring data is managed properly. Without such a framework established, bad data will persist. Bad data is more than mere uncertainty; IBM estimates poor data quality cost the American economy $3.1 trillion in 2016. These hidden costs materialize in time spent tracking down data, correcting data, erroneous decisions, disgruntled students/prospects, etc., resulting in business inefficiencies, failing to maximize recruitment yields, contributing toward student dissatisfaction, and ultimately; bad data presents obstacles to student success.

Key elements:

  • Clearly understood and documented data workflow/lifecycle.
  • Well defined data collection, storage, and development processes.
  • Local change control board.
  • Implement University-wide standards for data administration.
  • Automate, automate, automate.
  • Established data domains based on functional areas of the University.
  • Assigned accountability for each data domain.
  • Data integrity checks/audits.
  • Data quality scorecard.

To install such a data governance framework, a Data Governance Committee has been formed with the following charge.


Limestone University’s institutional data will be a university-wide asset that is readily available to support evidence-based decision-making and informed action.


In order to ensure accurate reporting and effective use of data for decision-making, the Limestone University Data Governance Committee will manage the quality, consistency, usability, security, accessibility, and availability of institutional data.


The scope of the Data Governance Committee applies only to institutional data that are generated, collected, developed, transmitted, and/or stored by Limestone University (i.e. student registration, financial aid, human resources/payroll, institutional research, etc.). This jurisdiction extends to any storage modality, location, or format in which the data is housed, inclusive of all campuses and educational platform offered at the University. Data generated by faculty or students for the purposes of individual academic research will not be subject to the Data Governance Committee.

Data Ownership

Institutional data is owned by the institution and essential to the fulfillment of the University’s mission. All institutional data, whether maintained in the central database or copied into other data systems, remain the property of the University and are governed by this policy statement. Individuals, academic and administrative units may have responsibilities for overseeing and managing subsets of Limestone’s data or databases, but no single person, academic or administrative unit within the institution “owns” that institutional data or the associated database.


The Data Governance Committee is a cross-functional group of people responsible for the strategies, policies, standards, processes, metrics, education, and technologies required to manages fully the University’s institutional data; and ensuring the proper collection, storage, accuracy, protection, and reporting of institutional data.


The Data Governance Committee will:

  • Establish data stewards for each data element and confirm processes are in place to ensure data is being accurately recorded, including accountability protocols pertaining to data stewards and their respective data domains.
  • Manage, oversee, and approve changes to processes and procedures relating to the collection, development, generation, processing, storage, and/or transmission of institutional data (e.g. serve as the local change control board for purposes of Limestone’s data infrastructure). Make recommendations to relevant Vice Presidents and/or Cabinet when applicable.
  • Create and oversee a data dictionary by which all institutional metrics and terms are clearly defined.
  • Work with stakeholders to assess the need for additional data elements and determine the best location for those elements to be stored.
  • Establish and maintain policies governing user access to institutional data that follows best practices and are compliant with applicable regulations (i.e. FERPA, HIPAA, HEA, and GDPR).
  • Adopt, communicate, and oversee implementation of University-wide standards for data administration aspects of business processes, data definitions, data dictionaries, and data warehouse elements.
  • Produce an annual report regarding the state of data at the University including clear and consistent data quality metrics, submitted to the Cabinet.
  • Engage in priority-setting and policy setting as related to the above.
  • Recommend and coordinate structures and subcommittees to accomplish the charge and related tasks outlined above.


The Data Governance Committee will consist of the following members:

  • Director of Institutional Research & Effectiveness (chair)
  • Database Administrator (chair)
  • A representative from the Admission’s Office
  • A representative from the Alumni Office
  • A representative from Athletics
  • A representative from the Business Office
  • A representative from Financial Aid
  • A representative from the Library
  • A representative from Marketing & Communications
  • A representative from the Online/Evening program
  • A representative from the Graduate program
  • A representative from the Registrar’s Office
  • A representative from Residential Life/Housing
  • A representative at-large