Archive for the ‘Steering Committee’ Category

Best practices for SUDS groups

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

SUDS-SC has approved a set of best practices for managing our SUDS groups (

These were developed to support groups in efficient development of high-quality, reusable definitions and other metadata aroundkey institutional data. Themes include supporting consistency across efforts, encouraging volunteer participation, maintaining motivation, and increasing awareness and engagement at all levels of the university community.

SUDS membership expectations

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

Stanford’s data stewardship steering committee (SUDS-SC) has developed and approved an overview of expectations for participants in our subject area SUDS groups, available at

“While much of the content developed through [the data stewardship] process is driven by specific BI reporting projects (e.g., definitions for data elements in a particular set of new reports), our goal is to create content that can be re-used to meet future needs in new contexts (reporting or otherwise) without re-work.

This is accomplished by ensuring both that content is consistent with Stanford policies and other official documentation and that it is developed and reviewed by a broad cross-section of campus stakeholders as well as the responsible functional areas. For this reason, consistent participation by representatives of diverse campus units is critical.”

Progress in metadata standardization (SUDS-SC Meeting 2/18/2014)

Saturday, February 22nd, 2014

In the steering committee meeting on February 18, we reviewed the significant recent progress in standardizing the data dictionary. Contents are becoming significantly more structured, allowing the information to be increasingly useful and flexible. Recent improvements include:

  • Attributes are now all explicitly noted in the Is Attribute Of field; this information is much more reliable than the many ways attribute structures had been tracked before
  • Common core content in Relationships and Discrepancies have been extracted into distinct fields (Is Type Of; Different From)
  • All available details on approval statuses are explicitly noted; the Status field now allows for progress metrics (e.g., IPESIRIS).
  • Types of references to external content has been assessed; citation formats identified and standardized; goals articulated; documentation in development.

Stewardship Approval Structures (SUDS-SC Meeting 12/3/2013)

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

The data stewardship steering committee met on December 3 to discuss approval processes for definitions and other metadata developed through the data stewardship organization. A draft approval structure, incorporating both breadth (via SUDS group membership) and depth (via cognizant functional areas), is available here: Draft SUDS-FIN approval process

While each group is currently in a different stage of this process, agreeing on an overall goal state will keep all groups coordinated in moving forward. Two recommeded short-term additions to current practice are:

  • Identify potential approving group(s) (e.g., Payroll, VPGE, Fund Accounting) for each element as part of the process of drafting definitions and other content. This will make it much easier to assess our approval needs globally, rather than element by element.
  • Explicitly seek SUDS group approval for elements on an ongoing basis. This typically a request in each meeting’s followup email saying, “The following definitions are up for approval; please let APPROVER know by DEADLINE if you have any further comments.”

Stewardship Roles (SUDS-SC Meeting 11/5/2013)

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

The data stewardship steering committee met on November 5 to discuss goals and role structures across stewardship groups. While there are many commonalities across SUDS groups’ current leadership structures, steering committee members agree that most important is to identify priorities specific to each group, then find people to accomplish those tasks, then identify appropriate roles. Key principles for all groups in the stewardship organization include:

  1. Each group’s leadership should include someone in a subject-area-specific leadership role in the university. This person should understand the context around group topics both within the subject area and in terms of connections to other areas, and will serve as a liaison with other high-level stakeholders as needed.
  2. Each group’s leadership should also include someone with a primarily cross-area perspective to ensure coordination across groups and consistency with general data stewardship standards.
  3. All additions or changes to content in an area should be  reviewed by (at least) 2 people, preferably one person specific to the group and one with a primarily cross-group perspective.

Updated Maturity Model (SUDS-SC Meeting 10/22/2013)

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

The data stewardship steering committee met on October 22 to update the Stanford Data Governance Maturity Model, reflecting developments and accomplishments over the past two years. The updated version can be found here: StanfordDataGovernanceMaturityModel-2013-overview.pdf