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Data Governance

Data Governance is described as a discipline that formalizes and guides behavior over the definition, production, and use of enterprise data and data-related assets at McMaster University.

See the "Data Governance Updates" tile below for monthly updates. For more information or to explore opportunities for Data Governance in your areas please reach out by email:


Information Box Group

McMaster values and respects the data it collects; treating all data responsibly, framing its commitment to data providers, holders and users in the following principles:

Data is a valued and strategic enterprise asset owned by the university and is accessible and used for institutional purposes by authorized users.

McMaster has clearly defined accountability for its data with Data Stewards responsible for the data within their domains.

McMaster will securely and responsibly manage its enterprise data to follow rules, regulation, policy, legislation, and best practices.

McMaster will consistently define data, metadata and data relationships in a system of record to ensure consistent and trustworthy data across the data lifecycle.

Data Governance at McMaster supports the University’s mission by enhancing the quality, value, security, and understanding of institutional data and data-related assets to support evidenced-based decision making and the University’s overall objectives. We will achieve this by:

  • Developing and maintaining policy, procedures and tools to align with relevant policy, procedure and legislation and to ensure consistency in how data is used, and to ensure data quality and integrity to support operations and evidence-based decision making;
  • Defining roles and responsibilities to govern the management of institutional data and data-related assets;
  • Ensuring responsible and respectful access to university data and data assets by identifying, documenting, and increasing visibility through the creation of policy and processes for the protection and sharing of data and data-related assets;
  • Assisting in the development, implementation and maintenance of a University Data and Analytics Strategy including data management standards, tools, policies and procedures related to institutional data assets;
  • Defining requirements for a data catalog and metadata repository that stores information about institutional data assets, systems, domains and stewards and includes automated workflows and machine learning functionality; and
  • Implementing a communication plan and change management strategy to increase McMaster’s individual and collective data governance maturity to provide trusted and fit data for the University.

Domains and Stewards

Domains are logical grouping of data assets according to their function, project, or knowledge area. At McMaster, the following Domains have been identified:

Academic McMaster Continuing Education
Facilities Services Research Administration
Finance Student
Human Resources Student Affairs
Information Technology Teaching & Learning
Institutional Research & Analysis University Advancement

Each Domain has a Steward who is a senior university employee who holds formal decision rights and accountabilities for the University’s data in their Domain. They are responsible for verifying the quality and integrity of data and data-related assets in their Domain and will support those processes using established data management procedures to effectively manage the data. They authorize the use of data within their domain and monitor this to verify appropriate data access.

Within each Domain are Sub-Domain Stewards who are Subject Area Experts and Data Custodians who are Subject Matter Experts.

All of these roles will participate in the review and approval Workflow for approving Data, Data Processes and Data Systems.