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Data Governance

Initiative Charter


New York University’s administrative data is treated as an enterprise-wide asset and is readily available to support evidence-based decision-making and informed action.


New York University recognizes the need to develop an Administrative Data Governance Initiative to manage the quality, consistency, usability, security, accessibility, and availability of administrative data. This initiative is comprised of the people, policies, standards, processes, metrics, education, and technologies required to fully manage the University’s administrative data as an enterprise asset.


New York University’s Administrative Data Governance Initiative is:

  • focused on University administrative data, in contrast to data related to Teaching and Learning; Research; or Community Life.
  • initially concerned with administrative data maintained by University administrative offices, but in the future will expand to include administrative data maintained in academic areas (schools, colleges, institutes, etc.).

Although the scope of the Initiative is all administrative data, implementation of data governance will occur in a phased manner – either in particular offices, or with more critical data across offices.


The main objectives of the Data Governance Initiative include:

  • To define, approve, and communicate data strategies, policies,
    standards, procedures, and metrics.
  • To track and enforce conformance to data policies, standards, and
  • To manage and resolve data related issues.
  • To understand and promote the value of data assets.
  • To reduce University risk by maintaining quality data.


Some of the key deliverables for the Administrative Data Governance Initiative include:

  • Data Governance Structure - Develop and implement a data governance structure of appropriate committees and program leadership.
  • Data Policies - Develop and approve policies for managing University administrative data, including overall and unit-specific data access policies. Monitor the on-going effectiveness of the policies and procedures.
  • Data Controls - Monitor data access management processes and security procedures in place.
  • Data Standards - Develop and document appropriate standards relating to University administrative data, including data definition formats.
  • Processes – Develop and implement processes for:
    • Tracking data problem identification and resolution
    • Improving the method of requesting data access
    • Defining data elements
  • Metrics – Develop and report on relevant data quality metrics
    • Identifying and profiling key data fields to provide a count of identified data inaccuracies
    • Status of identified data problems with counts of issues in each category (e.g. new, in progress, closed)
    • Count of data definitions developed and their status (e.g. in progress, ready for approval, approved)
  • Communications – Develop and implement a communications plan
    • Sharing information about the progress of the Administrative Data Governance Initiative with those directly involved
    • Socializing the need for quality data with the larger University audience
    • Sharing information about system changes which directly affect the data
    • Incorporating information about data governance into existing or new training programs
    • Coordinating presentations to the University community for communications from the Data Trustees, Data Domain Trustees, and Data Stewards about gaining access to administrative data, changes in processes regarding administrative data, and topics concerning administrative data in general.
  • Master Reference Data – Maintain existing Master Reference Data (e.g. Reporting Department Crosswalk) and expand efforts to standardize codes and values across University data systems.
  • Annual Review and Report - A report to the Provost and Executive Vice Presidents detailing annual goals for the upcoming year and a review of the goals, priorities and progress from the previous year.


It is difficult to define at a detailed level the resources required to implement the Administrative Data Governance Initiative. At a macro level it is clear that human resources will be required: from the lines of business in the form of responsibilities for data stewardship; from the Program Services Office as there is overlap and synergy to be gained from cooperative efforts; and from NYU IT as many data quality improvements may depend on changes to source systems. Additionally, financial resources will be required, potentially for software acquisition, consulting services, etc.


There are risks inherent in maintaining the status quo. These risks include financial misstatement, inadvertent release of sensitive data, poor client service (both external and internal to the University) and poor data quality for key decisions. The Administrative Data Governance Initiative ultimately seeks to improve data understanding and data quality. Improved data understanding will ensure that the correct data is used for the correct purpose. Improved data quality will help ensure that decisions are made with the most accurate data available, and that operations can proceed more smoothly with fewer exceptions.

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