Today I acquired an additional role* (along with the names that others already call me, some of which I am sure are unprintable). I am now officially a Data Steward. In my institution this is defined as follows:
The Data Steward is responsible for maintaining the security of their dataset; setting access requirements for the data; documenting the data made available to other services, and establishing processes to ensure the quality of the data. They have a duty to ensure that restricted and confidential data is managed securely and appropriately, that the data is made available only to those people and systems that need access, and that access is provided in keeping with legislation and the University’s internal policies. If the data includes any personal data, they are also responsible for completing a Data Protection Impact Assessment.
Thanks to a lot of hardwork from our Enterprise Architecture team I am now one of a network of Data Stewards across our institution and we also have a catalogue of all of our key data sources.
Yesterday Amy Collier’s article Digital Sanctuary: Protection and Refuge on the Web? was published in EDUCAUSE Review. I would like to think that this hard work on the part of my colleagues to whip us into shape takes us some way towards the principles that Amy lays out.
* This is one of those special roles that we all do as part of our existing jobs. Rewards are the warm fuzzies that come with being responsible with our student and staff data.
(Illustration from the Lights of Canopus (1847) via Public Doman Review.)