IT Forum Perspectives

Tactics to structure data governance efforts and sustain BI success



The data-driven enterprise, part II

This is the second in a series of posts covering one of our inaugural research topics, the data-driven enterprise. Miss the first post? Read it now.

Kevin Danchisko, Analyst
IT Forum

The path to successfully implementing data-driven decisions at any institution isn’t clearly defined. But through our research, we’ve determined three steps CIOs can take to move from point A to point B on BI.

Our previous post outlined step one: making the case for investing in BI on campus. Step two? Structuring data governance efforts for sustainable success.

Step Two: Sustainable Data Governance

Previous research from 2010 on the data-driven university revealed a shortage of organized, sustainable data governance practices. Our current research indicates minimal progress in the intervening four years: lack of data governance remains one of the most pressing, yet overlooked, areas of need when developing BI capabilities across campus.

That’s why we’re taking a more in-depth look at ways to stand up a data governance structure successfully (the terrain is littered with the corpses of failed governance efforts), and to set it on a path to sustainability. We’ve found promising tactics that CIOs are using to build these governance structures and processes, but we’ve also discovered a few pitfalls to watch out for.

1. Meeting overload and exhaustion
Data access and definition decisions require multi-stakeholder input, but the data group will suffer if these stakeholders are unengaged.

2. Lack of credible and reliable data
Often the data that is aggregated is rife with input errors, which must be addressed before BI efforts are to be successful.

3. Consideration of data governance as a one-time effort
Governance must keep pace with the changes at the university, so the “one and done” strategies are a shortsighted, and ultimately doomed, fix to an ever-changing situation.

4. No coordination for appropriate data access
Determining who needs access to what data can quickly devolve into a time intensive chore, providing a unique set of permissions and access for each person on campus.

  • Tell us your thoughts


    As part of our research agenda for this year's meeting, we're analyzing some of the most success practices in higher education to avoid these pitfalls. If you have something you'd like to share with us, please don't hesitate to contact us at perspectives@eab.com or log in to comment directly on this blog post.

Like This Post? Subscribe to the Blog.

If you haven't already, subscribe to IT Forum Perspectives to receive regular updates on the latest research, insights, and news related to IT and higher education.

Subscribe now


  • Manage Your Events
  • Saved webpages and searches
  • Manage your subscriptions
  • Update personal information
  • Invite a colleague