Data Governance Process

The Enterprise Data Governance Council identifies, prioritizes, tracks, and resolves critical enterprise-wide data issues. This includes establishing appropriate responsibility for the management of data, and the sustainable controls, data standards, and data policies. Read the Enterprise Data Governance Council Charter pdf .

The Enterprise Data Governance Council accomplishes this through a process to reach critical decisions on data issues quickly. The governance process surfaces issues and refers them to Expert Working Groups and Domain Data Stewards. The EDGC surfaces issues and develops solutions to determine a specific course of action. This could result in policies and procedures for addressing and resolving data issues, and metrics for assessing adoption and efficacy of those policies and procedures.


The EDGC was established with a general scope of all enterprise-level data held by the UW System. Current development of the Administrative Transformation Project (ATP), the Enterprise Analytics Platform (EAP), and associated Data Lake projects have created an environment of significant fluidity. Future state governance of the resulting enterprise level information technology and data is currently under development. Therefore, the EDGC’s short-term agenda to effectively support the success of these major shifts in the current enterprise data environment and build support for the Council as a part of the future state governance.

For 2023, the scope of EDGC’s work includes:

  • Data issues specifically concerned with the development of the ATP and the EAP project.
  • Review the EDGC charter at the close of the year to ensure the fit within future state governance remains strong and appropriate.

Council Members and Responsibilities

The EDGC consists of seven members: four UWSA trustees and three members representing UW universities. The university members include a registrar, who represents all UW institutions as a trustee of Student and Curricular data; a chief business officer; and an institutional research officer.

The EDGC consists of:

UW System Administration Data Trustees

Budget and Finance              Julie Gordon, UW System, AVP, Budget and Finance

Human Resources                 Dan Chanen, UW System, AVP, Human Resources

Student and Curricular         Ben Passmore, UW System, AVP, Policy Analysis and Research

Teaching and Learning         Julie Pohlman, UW System, Director of Libraries

UW System University Representatives

Registrar                                 Scott Owczarek, UW-Madison, Associate Vice Provost and University Registrar

Chief Business Officer           Brenda Jones, UW-Whitewater, Vice Chancellor for Administrative Affairs

Institutional Research           Katie Jore, UW-Stevens Point, Associate Vice Chancellor for Personnel, Budget, and Grants

At least one of the university members is from UW-Madison; the other two rotate among the remaining universities on an annual basis. University members commit to actively engaging with colleagues systemwide to represent all UW institutions on the EDGC. The term of university members on the council will be two years, or until they resign from the position. To ensure continuity of institutional knowledge on the council, one university member of the council will serve a one-year term. Their successors will serve two-year terms.

Data Governance Guiding Principles

Sound data governance principles should guide policy and decision making for the Enterprise Data Governance Council. These principles should guide the vision for data governance generally and for the Enterprise Data Governance Council specifically. These guiding principles include:

  • Data is an asset to the organization and should be managed as an asset.
  • Data governance should be agile, and mission driven.
  • Data quality is a shared responsibility.
  • Data management awareness should be promoted throughout UW System.
  • Data governance policies and standards should be approved by a sanctioned committee, the Enterprise Data Governance Council, with representation from key UW System stakeholders.
  • The Enterprise Data Governance Council should provide leadership to ensure the proactive management of data as a shared asset and to bring value to the organization through that data.
  • Clear authority and accountability are needed for data policy development and approval, data stewardship, and data management across the enterprise.
  • The data governance decision-making process should be transparent to all data stakeholders.
  • Data governance will support the development of a culture of shared information and resources.
  • Policies, definitions, and metrics should be communicated effectively and as part of a standardized communication plan.

Governance Council Decision-Making Process

Voting and decisions will be conducted using a consensus model. In all instances, the preferred outcome will be a generally agreed solution as presented by the Expert Working Group and endorsed by the Council’s Data Stewards. If a consensus cannot be reached the preferred outcome is to refer the matter back for additional review. If a decision must be reached in a time-sensitive fashion, the chair may elect to take the matter to a simple majority vote. At least four voting members must be in attendance to constitute a quorum. In the absence of a quorum, the chair may conduct the meeting for informational purposes only or may adjourn the meeting.  A proxy may be designated by a voting member to act in his stead for a particular meeting.

In all instances where practical, the Council will follow a decision-making model which ensures appropriate input from stakeholders including technical staff and communities of practice.

Enterprise Data Governance Council workflow image

  1. Technical, Project, and Domain teams identify issues and refer them for decisions.
  • These broadly construed teams work outside of the Council’s purview and may refer decisions for System level data issues through existing specific organizational structures.
  • Other groups and communities of practice may also refer issues as needed.
  • Council coordinator(s) will vet issues initially and may summarily return to team as they deem appropriate.
  1. Coordinator, Chair, and Vice Chair identify issues and agenda.
  • Council coordinator will work with Council Chair to establish agenda of issues for review.
  • Chair and Vice Chair may add items to agenda.
  1. Council assigns work to Expert Working Groups.
  • The Council will appoint either an existing or ad hoc expert working group to consider specific issues or groups of issues.
  • The Council will charge the group to review the issue(s) and develop actionable solutions.
  • The working group will develop a specific actionable proposal for a decision.
  1. Domain Data Stewards review proposed solutions and interact with Expert Working Group to improve solutions.
  • Data stewards and working group will review proposals and revise actions/solutions as needed.
  • Data stewards consult with existing Communities of Practice on proposed actions.
  • Data stewards advise their data trustee on considerations for their area of responsibility and broader data community.
  1. Expert Working Group and Data Domain Stewards return recommendations to Council.
  • A written recommendation based on technical solution will be provided to the Council.
  • The workgroup and data stewards should identify any specific risks, issues, and alternatives that they consider relevant
  1. Council reviews recommended actions and decides on a specific course of action.
  • Council will review and vote on vetted solution proposals.
  • Council may:
    • Refer issues back to Technical, Project, and Domain team for additional development,
    • Refer proposed actions to Data Domain Stewards or Expert Working Group for additional and recommendation,
    • Approve or disapprove proposed action,
    • Other action or referrals as deemed appropriate.
  • Decisions will be rapidly promulgated in writing and through coordinator for implementation per existing communication plan