Data & Information Governance at UNSW

UNSW Sydney

The Data & Information Governance Office at UNSW has been established because institutional data and information are a strategic asset of UNSW Sydney and the appropriate governance for the management and use of data are critical to the University’s operations. Lack of governance can lead to operational inefficiencies and could expose the University to unwanted risks.

Data & Information Governance at UNSW is supported by policies, standards, procedures, guidelines and frameworks, and information about these can be found on the Data Governance website.

The Data & Information Governance Office is part of the UNSW Planning & Performance (UPP) business unit within the Office of the Provost.

At UNSW the following definition of data governance has framed our thinking:

"Data governance is the organization and implementation of policies, procedures, structure, roles, and responsibilities which outline and enforce rules of engagement, decision rights, and accountabilities for the effective management of information assets."

Source: John Ladley, Data Governance: How to Design, Deploy and Sustain an Effective Data Governance Program, 2012.

Key factors in data and information governance success

  • Data and Information Governance needs to be a good fit for each specific UNSW Data Area and the University operations it supports
  • Data and Information Governance for each UNSW Data Area needs to be developed collaboratively with the stakeholders
  • There is no single ‘right’ answer for every part of the organisation
  • Data and information governance is a stakeholder-driven activity
  • Data and information governance is a framework to enable the business to better manage information and data quality
  • No data and information governance activities will be undertaken without stakeholder buy-in and leadership

Approach to data governance

Data & information governance at UNSW is framed around the Five Knows in the diagram below. We work on ensuring that we know the answers to each of the questions for all of our critical data:

  1. Do you know the value of your data?
  2. Do you know who has access to your data?
  3. Do you know where your data is?
  4. Do you know who is protecting your data?
  5. Do you know how well your data is protected?


5 Knows