Children’s Optimal Health (COH) is playing a key, as well as a collaborative role in identifying the parameters for a data management and governance system in Central Texas. COH has a great deal of experience and success in gathering, storing, preparing and assessing legally protected, as well as publicly held data. COH’s record as a data intermediary leaves the organization in a unique position to support large scale data governance.
Data governance by definition is a set of best practices and rules that surrounds the people, processes, and information technology that guide proper handling and use of data gathered from multilple sources. Data governance is about quality control and the development of a discipline for assessing, managing, utilizing, and protecting personal information.
The US Department of Education’s (ED) Privacy Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) defines data governance as ”an approach to data management, which is formalized into a set of policies and procedures that address the full life cycle of data, from acquisition to disposal (PTAC 2015a).” According to NNIP, having formal data governance is recommended for all data intermediaries, even if working only with public records and national survey data. Data governance ensures the quality, accuracy, and usability of data, in addition to being critical for ensuring ethical use, protecting privacy, and confidentiality.
According to the Urban Institutes National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership (NNIP), “any organization that collects, analyzes, or disseminates data should establish formal systems to manage data responsibly, protect confidentiality, and document data files and procedures. In doing so, organizations will build a reputation for integrity and facilitate appropriate interpretation and data sharing…”
NNIP Guide to Data Governance: