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Data Governance

Parrish Hall in the Fall

Department Overview

What is Data Governance?

Data Governance is the set of practices that Swarthmore College undertakes to curate its data and information resources effectively. A central aim is to provide internal and external stakeholders with access to consistent, high-quality, trusted information. It is achieved through structured management and use of data and includes all software used to conduct College business and do reporting and analysis.

The College recognizes that its data are assets that require policies and structure to effectively integrate and transform them into useable information, available in an efficient and appropriate manner to those who need it. To achieve this we must attend to the privacy and security of information, to ethical concerns, and to regulatory requirements. Educating the stakeholders and constituents at the College is critical in implementing and sustaining these practices.

Philosophy of Data

  • Data belong to the College and are considered valuable assets.
  • Data may come in a variety of formats, including records in paper, electronic, and other multimedia formats.
  • Data will be accurate and available to make informed decisions across the College.
  • Data that include personally identifiable information will be treated with dignity and care.

The Data Governance Model will:

  • Adapt to dynamic and evolving systems and processes.
  • Provide clear standards for data integrity and assign accountability.
  • Establish a transparent process for the evaluation and purchase of new information systems and data sources, ensuring integration with College data and other systems in use at the College.
  • Adhere to regulatory requirements and proper standards of ethics, privacy, and information security.
  • Regulate access to data, identify what is accessible to whom, route requests to appropriate decision-makers, and provide a cross-constituent mechanism to oversee/vet requests for data.
  • Define governance roles, including oversight, stewardship, and custodianship of data.
  • Clarify roles and responsibilities of individuals working with and using data.
  • Respectfully manage technology, human, and financial resources.