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Data Governance at Georgia Southern University

Data Governance is the comprehensive management of the integrity, security, availability and usability of the data within an organization. Georgia Southern University is responsible for all data read, created, collected, reported, updated or deleted by the offices of the organization.

What It Does

Data Ownership

The President of the University is to ensure that an appropriate data governance structure is in place, operating effectively, and supported by other institutional leaders.

Data Access

The Data Governance Committee establishes data access authorization procedures and ensures procedures are in place and implemented for data security.

Data Quality

Data stewards and managers develop standard definitions for data elements created/used within each functional unit. Additionally, they ensure data quality standards are in place and met and that data is reliable and used consistently across the institution.

Data Security

Ensures data and user privacy are protected.

Who Does It

Data Owner


Data Trustee

President’s Cabinet

Data Steward

Data stewards, designated by the data trustees, are personnel responsible for the data read, used, created, collected, reported, updated or deleted, and the technology used to do so if applicable, in their data area(s). Data stewards recommend policies to the data trustees and establish procedures and guidelines concerning the access to, completeness, accuracy, privacy, and integrity of the data for which they are responsible.

Data Manager

Data managers are connected to each functional unit within the university and have a functional knowledge of the data reported from and used within the unit.

Data User

A data user has access to university data as part of assigned duties. This role includes staff members who have direct responsibility for entering and using data.

  Data Structure

The general data governance structure for Georgia Southern includes the President as the Data Owner who appoints the members of the President’s Cabinet as the Data Trustees. Data Trustees appoint the Data Stewards for their areas. The work of the Data Stewards is divided into five data domains: Education, Finance, Workforce, Institutional, and Research.

  1. The Education Domain oversees educational data and includes data about students, courses, degrees, financial aid, housing, and judicial records, to name a few.
  2. The Finance Domain oversees financial data related to budgets, revenue, expenses, accounts payable, and foundations.
  3. The Workforce Domain oversees data related to employees, faculty credentials, assigned effort, and similar data elements.
  4. The Institutional Domain includes a wide range of data types such as advancement, facility, and auxiliary data.
  5. The Research Domain oversees data related to grants, sponsored programs, and faculty research.

Within each data domain there are a number of Data Stewards, Managers, and Business Analysts who carry out responsibilities for both functional and technical data governance issues. 

The organizational chart illustrates that data governance is NOT the sole responsibility of Information Technology (IT), but is that of everyone involved in the data governance structure including data users. Staff in the different functional areas have the substantive knowledge to create data definitions, understand the appropriate use of their data including regulatory requirements, detect data discrepancies, and discern if data is meeting the needs of data users. IT personnel manage the systems holding data and implement procedures developed to protect the data and provide appropriate access.

Organizational Chart

Data Owner: President

  1. Data Trustees: President’s Cabinet

    1. Education Domain
    2. Finance Domain
    3. Workforce Domain
    4. Institutional Domain
    5. Research Domain

  Information Security

At its core, cyber security establishes measures to protect digital information and systems from unauthorized access, attack and compromise throughout its lifecycle.  It is important to implement a robust data security approach to support and protect University information and assets against threat and human error through strategies such as Identity Management, Risk Management and Incident Management.

Cyber Security safeguards are presented through policies, procedures, and standards that are enforced to provide and maintain capacity for University data with the appropriate safeguards in place that address data integrity, security, availability, and consistency. 


Closely managing data content, access, and use is necessary to ensure compliance with federal, state and local regulations as well as grants and contract specifications. Georgia Southern is responsible for carefully managing data to ensure confidential data is appropriately classified and safeguarded. To that end, the university has policies and procedures to ensure that appropriate organizational personnel has a working knowledge of the following regulations:

  • Data Owner President
    • Data Trustees President’s Cabinet
      • Education Domain
        Data stewards, managers and business analysts
        • Functional and technical data governance
      • Finance Domain
        Data stewards, managers and business analysts
        • Functional and technical data governance
      • Workforce Domain
        Data stewards, managers and business analysts
        • Functional and technical data governance
      • Institutional Domain
        Data stewards, managers and business analysts
        • Functional and technical data governance
      • Research Domain
        Data stewards, managers and business analysts
        • Functional and technical data governance