U-M Data Governance Revitalization

The Data Governance revitalization initiative, co-sponsored by the Office of the Provost and the Office of the VPIT-CIO, aims to identify and pursue important improvements in stewardship structure, data governance processes, data quality, institutional data policy, and supporting technology. Upcoming improvements include:

Data Stewardship Structure

A streamlined data stewardship structure is necessary to create alignment, ensure consistency, and strengthen ability to address growing data complexity and meet the strategic data needs of the university. Data stewardship roles will be reframed in the context of updated data areas, which will facilitate well-governed access to and use of institutional data:

  • Data Governance Advisory Committee (DGAC): Responsible for establishing data governance practices that span data steward areas; serves as an advisory and problem-solving body to Executive Data Stewards and Data Stewards.
  • Executive Data Stewards: Executive officers with policy-level responsibility for overseeing a major area of the university’s information resources.
  • Data Stewards: Senior university officials with responsibility for governing a specific area of institutional data. 
  • Data Custodians: People or groups that create and maintain data. These may be an IT team, unit/department, or researcher/faculty member.

The work of revisiting data areas and simplifying data stewardship roles is underway and will be reflected in the published data stewardship framework upon completion of each data area. Regular communications and ongoing training will be provided to all individuals with data stewardship responsibilities.

Data Governance Processes

Effective data governance at U-M requires consistent guidelines and practices for secure, appropriate, and ethical collection, storage, access, use, and sharing of institutional data. The Data Governance Advisory Committee, the Data Governance Community of Practice, and groups of data stewards are working to develop and document processes and guidelines aimed to increase usability of institutional data.

Institutional Data Policy

Data Governance revitalization work includes a thoughtful revision of SPG 601.12: Institutional Data Resource Management Policy. The policy will be updated to reflect advances in technology and information security made since its inception. It will also align with data governance improvements and vision to better support institutional data-informed decision-making, competitive positioning, and delivery of services. Once in progress, the policy revision can be viewed on the Information Technology Policies Under Review page.

Supporting Technology

As data governance processes are defined and documented, we will explore opportunities to automate or enhance them through technology solutions. More information will be provided as these solutions become available.


Please email any U-M Data Governance questions to Data-Gov-Support-Team@umich.edu.