Data Governance

The collection of practices and processes used to manage university data assets.

The goal of data governance is to build strong trust in data through:

  • Transparent, inclusive processes
  • Shared data responsibilities
  • Proactive data validation
  • Consistent definitions, naming and support

Data governance is a core component of the Office of Technology and Digital Innovation's (OTDI) efforts to support the teaching, research, service, and patient care missions of the university. This work represents an opportunity to foster a collaborative and inclusive culture around our data. As a result, the university's data governance model is maturing and much of the information below is in a draft or proposal state. Check out the Media page for a quick five minute Data Governance video overview.

Check back regularly for updates and finalized structures and processes. If you have feedback regarding draft or proposed information, please contact Laura Gast, Data Governance Program Director.


Data Domains

Data is organized into domains to provide a common structure in order to clearly define boundaries, interdependencies and stewardship areas of responsibility. 

Check out the Data Domains section for more information.


Data Governance Stewardship Structure and Roles

A key concept in the development of data governance at the university is that it should be only as formal as needed, according to the priority and use of the data in question. As a result, the data stewardship structure needs to be fully and clearly defined for the most impactful data elements even though in practice many data processes and decisions can be handled by individual areas and stewards.

Current Data Stewards

As outlined by Ohio State’s Institutional Data Policy, “data stewards” are designated university officials whose functional areas of responsibility include the creation or origination of institutional data. They have overall responsibility for managing and maintaining such data. Data stewards are the main point of contact for their respective data and how it should be used. A listing of current data stewards, along with their data area and contact information, is available at the Data Domains page.

Structure and Roles

Both campus and the medical center are represented at all levels of data governance, including joint stewardship of data domains, when appropriate.

Roles and Responsibilities:

Data Governance Council

Responsible for strategic guidance of the data goverance program, prioritization for data governance projects and initiatives, and final arbiter for decisions that cannot be resolved at a lower level.

Functional Executive

Senior executive responsible for data and domains within their organization who responds to high-level data issues such as a data breach.

Primary Domain Steward

Takes a strategic, cross-functional view of domain data for the benefit of the enterprise, promotes data governance within the unit's business processes, resolves intra-domain conficts and escalates to the Data Governance Council when necessary, responsible for approving (or delegating the approval of) data access requests.

Secondary Domain Steward

Responsible for issue resolution within the secondary domain and actively champions the implementation and enforcement of data governance within their functional areas of responsibility, resolves intra-domain conflicts where possible and escalates to the Primary Domain Steward.

Operational Data Steward

Responsible for data quality audits and fixes as well as data quality triage and resolution, serves as the primary subject matter expert on unit data, facilitates development of metadata for data assets.

Data Governance Program Office (DGPO)

Responsible for defining, facilitating, supporting and sustaining data governance program activities with the goal of ensuring data is managed as an enterprise asset, tracks and reports success metrics to the Data Governance Council and stewardship stakeholders.