As part of a Data Stewardship Initiative, the DSC has adopted several major strategies to pursue the goals of quality, privacy, security, and preservation. While achieving these goals requires stewardship at the local/unit level, the DSC has been able to act as a resource and forum to strengthen local capacity across the University.
- The first strategy is to provide value to the University community through targeted research and development efforts. Recent work products of the DSC include a data classification matrix, a high-level Enterprise Data Model, and guidelines for the use of the Chicago ID across systems.
- The second strategy is an outreach and education effort to promote data stewardship and best practices of data governance. The DSC website (http://dsc.uchicago.edu) is a digital platform with information about data stewardship and related University policies. A new website tentatively called the Data Usage Guide is currently in development. Spreading the word in a de-centralized organization such as the University presents a challenge but feedback indicates that many University staff take the responsibility of stewardship seriously and are seeking guidance on how to fulfill their responsibilities. Interest in the Data Stewardship Network (described below) has underscored this point. Data stewardship is a long term undertaking and the approach of the DSC is to leverage existing policies and practices to strengthen the University’s overall capacity to exercise stewardship.
- In 2011, the Council created the Data Usage Request (DUR) process as a vehicle for data governance. The process allows data stewards to offer guidance and maintain oversight of shared data. A significant component of the approval process is an understanding and agreement by the receiving data stewards that they understand and will abide by all legal, policy, and procedural guidelines associated with the data that they are receiving. The receiving data steward also commits to the understanding that all who will use the data being received understand and agree to abide by the guidelines and policies as well. As of July 2015, 87 approved DURs are on file to document data sharing agreements between various administrative areas of the University.