Data governance is a collection of processes, roles, policies, standards, and metrics that ensure the effective and efficient use of information in enabling an organization to achieve its goals. The foundation of JMU's Data Governance efforts is the existing Data Stewardship Policy. As part of the Reengineering Madison program, JMU seeks to identify principles and implement business processes for expanding our Data Governance program. This will include creating and publishing data definitions as well as a process for managing data conflicts or issues.
The Data Governance Council is a cross functional team of representatives from each main area of the University.  These individuals were nominated to represent their areas and contribute to the shared understanding of data at JMU.
A Data Dictionary is a central repository of core terms and definitions.  It contains metadata (data about data) such as system of record, required reporting definitions, data manager, how to query and more.  By maintaining such a dictionary, JMU hopes to promote data literacy while fostering a culture of transparency and cross functional collaboration (creating an agreed upon University wide data "language"). 
One of the goals of the Reengineering Madison program is to "Develop shared data systems as a university good". The following objectives relate to this goal:
  1. Foster a data informed culture.
  2. Develop university-wide definitions for commonly used data.
  3. Improve data integrity and consistency.
  4. Enhance data reporting functionality with new and existing technologies.
  5. Create a common data source for users across campus that increases capacity for informed decision-making.
  6. Ensure regulatory compliance regarding visibility and sharing of data.
By defining and publishing core terms that reside within systems of record at JMU, the Data Governance Council seeks to deliver on each of the above objectives via a shared data dictionary to be used by the campus community.

The Data Governance Council focuses its efforts around lifecycle scenarios for different constituent types (student, employee, alumni) at JMU by identifying data points involved in supporting their lifecycle. 


Data definitions are a work in progress.  As we define and gain approval for additional definitions, they will be added to the site.  If you have a suggestion for a term, please contact the Data Governance Council member representing your area.  If you do not see a representative from your area, or are unsure who to contact, please send your suggestion or feedback to

Click here for an overview of the current process the Data Governance Council follows in support of data definition work. 


Contact the Data Governance Council member representing your area, if you do not see a representative from your area or are unsure who to contact, please send your questions or feedback to

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