Data Governance

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The U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences defines data governance as “the means by which organizations make decisions about their collective information assets.” In its commitment to enhancing organizational effectiveness, SREB created a Data Governance Council to establish guidelines for how data are defined, acquired, used, stored and destroyed.

Data Governance Council

SREB’s Data Governance Council establishes organizational data structures and policies to ensure staff data practices support our overall strategic mission and goals. 

Data Governance Framework

Because SREB is a broad, multi-focused organization, leadership assembled a cross-functional team of researchers and evaluators to share the responsibility of creating a data management framework suitable for all SREB offices.    

Values

  • Data are an Asset: Integral to what we do at SREB. SREB is committed to providing its stakeholders with access to accurate and reliable data.
  • Data Quality: Important in building trust among those who use our products and services. SREB’s commitment to high-quality data drives relationships with potential funding partners and strengthens existing partners’ confidence in SREB’s information assets.
  • Privacy and Security: SREB is dedicated to protecting its stakeholders. Maintenance of individual privacy and confidentiality are of the upmost importance to SREB.

Principles

  • Communication: SREB is committed to maintaining open and consistent internal and external communication regarding the acquisition, use and storage of data.
  • Compliance: All SREB research and data staff are expected to comply with the organization’s standards and policies regarding data management and use.
  • Standards and Accountability: SREB’s Data Governance Committee has established standards for data management and developed accountability measures to ensure all necessary staff are adhering to those standards.

Research Involving Human Subjects and Institutional Review Board Approval

The purpose of an Institutional Review Board is to protect human subjects from harm when participating in research and to protect the researcher’s organization from allegations of unethical behavior. SREB has partnered with IntegReview to ensure the protections of our research participants. 

Research integrity is vital to SREB’s stature and reputation. SREB established research guidelines for maintaining integrity in research, promoting good research practice and avoiding departures from accepted research practice that could be deemed misconduct and damage SREB’s reputation or credibility.

Professional Development Supporting Data Governance

CITI Training

All SREB staff who conduct research and manage data have received Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative certification. CITI is an industry-recognized online training program widely regarded as the standard in research, ethics and compliance training.

FERPA

FERPA is the acronym for the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. Enacted in 1974, FERPA is a federal law passed to protect the privacy of student education records. It prohibits education institutions from disclosing personally identifiable information in education records without the written consent of an eligible student or, if the student is a minor, the student’s parents (20 U.S.C.S. § 1232g(b)). All SREB staff who conduct research or evaluation involving students will participate in the FERPA 101 training provided by the U.S. Department of Education, Privacy Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) and the Student Privacy Policy Office.

Data Sharing Agreements

PTAC offers an online training course, FERPA 201: Data Sharing under FERPA. All SREB staff who conduct researchor evaluation will complete this course to improve their understanding of sharing data that adheres to FERPA requirements.

Data Security and Privacy

The Data Governance Council is currently reviewing training modules on data security and privacy. After they have chosen a provider, SREB staff who conduct research or evaluation will complete the training to understand how data security and privacy differ and the steps they can take to help ensure both.

Data Inventory

SREB’s Data Governance Council conducted a data inventory to compile descriptive information on all data assets at SREB. The metadata (data about data) describes the content, sources, location, restrictions, data sharing agreements, data users and custodians, data security needs, and other relevant details. Because SREB and its data continuously evolve, reviews and updates to the inventory occur at least biennially to maintain a current map of SREB data.