Universities run on data and every employee is a data user to some degree.

We all contribute to strong data governance at the University of Colorado, whether we produce, use or manage data. The first step toward enacting data governance is clarity around the roles and responsibilities.

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Councils and groups

See the Operating Model for more information.

Data Governance Executive Council (sign in required)

The Data Governance Executive Council (DGEC) is a cross-campus, cross-functional group of leaders representing each campus and the CU system. The council’s purpose is to provide direction and set priorities for Data Governance to ensure the accessibility and accuracy of data. They provide direction and resources, resolve issues and remove obstacles so data governance objectives and milestones are achieved. Active participation in the DGEC ensures the establishing of a culture of accountability.  The council fosters trust among stakeholders and mitigates risks associated with data misuse or mishandling.  

The council is accountable to the University of Colorado President and CU System CIO and will escalate items through the IT Governance Process as needed.

Data Trustees (sign in required)

The data trustees advise the president and chancellors that the university is taking appropriate measures to ensure data quality and ensure compliance with relevant regulations and policies. These individuals, appointed by the president and chancellors, work to resolve conflicts where data overlaps between multiple data groups. In addition to upholding university policies and state/federal law, Data Trustees are responsible for identifying the sensitivity and criticality of data.

They play a vital role in data governance by acting as custodians of data assets, ensuring their proper management, protection, and ethical use on behalf of data stakeholders.

Data Stewardship Councils (sign in required)

The Data Stewardship Councils are cross-functional teams representing areas responsible for the governance of data within a particular domain or subject area. The group members are associates dependent on the accessibility and accuracy of data within that domain. The purpose of the Data Stewardship Councils is to govern the data within their assigned data domain in support of stewardship, data quality and data management activities. As of January 2024, there are three established councils: the Institutional Research Data Council, the Student Data Council and the Finance Data Council.

Data Working Groups

Data Stewardship Councils may recommend the creation of Working Groups to address specific data governance priorities (e.g., Collibra Use Case, how to implement a new policy for their domain). These Working Groups provide recommendations about their priority to Data Stewardship Councils for review and approval. Working Groups are formed to accomplish specific objectives and are disbanded once the objective is met; they are not standing groups.

Data Management Groups

Data Stewardship Councils may recommend the creation of a Data Management group as a temporary or standing group to address data management questions and concerns.

Data Management groups under the previous data governance model have transitioned to data steward councils, except for the HR/Employee Data Management Group (sign in required). Until onboarded to Collibra and the new model, the Employee Data Management Group will continue to follow its previous process.

Data Working Groups are project-focused and temporary, while data management groups are permanent and responsible for the ongoing data governance and management of data assets.

Individual Roles 

Presented in alphabetical order.

Collibra Architect Administrator

The Collibra architect administrator role collaborates with the CU data governance analyst and campus analysts/community managers. They have complete access to the Collibra system, including console access, and are in direct communication with Collibra experts to administer and maintain the data governance catalog product.

The role is responsible for servers, connections, workflow and dashboard development and support, import/exports, technical troubleshooting, system upgrades and communication with the vendor.

The role is directly responsible for the Collibra system and, with the data governance analyst and product owner, shares the responsibility for supporting the business stewards, data custodians, stakeholders, subject matter experts, and Data Governance Executive Council and others in support of the CU Data Governance program.

Data Analysts

Each campus has several data analysts who use data to report what has happened and to help the university make better data-driven decisions. They use their skills to identify patterns in data, and to create reports and visualizations that help others understand the data.

Data Custodians

Data custodians are CU technical data experts who review and validate the origins and full life cycle of data. As part of their job duties, they participate in governance practices of adding and maintaining data assets, and collaborate with the Collibra product team to maintain active connections of metadata information flow between source systems and Collibra.

They will provide expertise regarding business use of technical data, including the source to target extraction, transform and load (ETL) mapping logic and metadata validation in the CU Collibra Data Catalog, which helps define, describe or relate information about and between data assets.

Data Engineers

University Information Services and campus Offices of Information Technology have data engineers who build and maintain the data infrastructure: the data systems, databases and data warehouses, which data analysts use to collect, store and analyze data.

Their expertise is designing and building data pipelines, and ensuring data is stored securely and efficiently.

Data Governance Community of Practice

DG Community of Practice is a network of subject matter experts and other stakeholders who are interested in data governance, want to be informed of data governance discussions, and may be consulted by the Data Stewardship Councils or DG Executive Council if needed.

Data Stakeholders

Stakeholders are CU experts who review and validate the origins and full life cycle of data.  As part of their job duties, they regularly participate in governance practices of reviewing, contributing to or correcting information about data assets and the metadata that helps define, describe or relate information about and between data assets.

Their review of details within the CU Collibra Data Catalog validates that institutional data information is documented, categorized and related to the proper context; also, that data is searchable, discoverable, secure and requestable by relevant individuals within and across campuses.

Data Users

Data users create and control university data and share responsibility in helping data stewards and custodians manage and protect data. Data users can be any individual or university unit that creates or manages sets of university data.

Responsibilities include following policies and standards, ensuring the appropriateness, accuracy and timeliness of data, reporting any unauthorized access, misuse or data quality issues to the data steward for remediation, and completing all necessary training required.