Data Custodian Engagement Process

From CSUMB Data Glossary
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The CSUMB Data Glossary aims to provide meaning and context to our campus data. This would not be possible without close collaboration and expert knowledge of multiple departments and individuals from across the campus who are most familiar with individual data elements--"data custodians"--who help periodically review and update content in this glossary to ensure it accurately reflects current business processes.

Thank you to all of our campus partners who help to make the CSUMB Data Glossary a resource that supports campus-wide, data-informed decision-making.

What is a data custodian?

A data custodian is an entity on campus (usually a department or business unit) that "owns" or has a primary stake in a particular data element.

In some cases, more than one department or business unit may have involvement with a particular data element. In those cases, one data custodian has been identified as the primary data custodian for that data element, but they should work with other departments and business units that also have a stake in the data element to agree on the appropriate definition for the term.

What if the data custodian assigned for a particular term is not appropriate?

IAR has attempted to assign each of the terms to appropriate departments on campus. However, if you believe a particular term or concept is incorrectly assigned, please consider the following:

  1. If you think another department should have primary responsibility for a data element, please open a discussion page for the term you think should be reassigned and state which department should be reassigned as primary "data custodian". IAR will reassign the term to the other department and notify them of the change.
  2. If you think you share responsibility for a data element with another department, please reach out to the other department to make sure your business processes and definitions for the data elements align and that the definition in the data glossary reflects this.

Why is it important to have data custodians contribute to the definition and review of terms in the data glossary?

IAR sourced definitions (where possible) from available CSU system-wide, Oracle PeopleSoft, and publicly available sources. In some cases, definitions are based on what we observe in the data as it appears on reports and dashboards. However, the definitions need to reflect the business processes in place at CSUMB to accurately and holistically provide context for the data we see reported.

Data custodian contributions to writing, reviewing, and updating definitions helps to ensure the entire campus is on the same page in how we communicate and interpret data.

Who is the audience for the CSUMB Data Glossary?

The glossary is intended to serve all users of campus data reported in the CSUMB Data Warehouse and other campus data reporting. This likely includes you and others in your department or business unit who have a stake in viewing and understanding campus data.

The definitions within the data glossary should be written in a way that a new staff or faculty member with very little knowledge about CSUMB, or even the CSU, could use the definitions to understand the data they are viewing.

Remember what it is like to be a new staff member on campus and how difficult it is to navigate new and complex information. The data glossary aims to help create a central repository of knowledge about our campus data that will help support the campus community overall.

What does the data custodian writing, review, and updating process entail?

Data custodian writing, review, and updating of the terms in the data glossary entails examination of each of the data terms and definitions that have been assigned to a particular department to ensure that they accurately represent the business processes in place at CSUMB so that end users of reports can understand the data they see reported.

Questions to keep in mind when writing, reviewing, and updating definitions

  • Does the definition accurately represent the business processes in place at CSUMB?
  • Does the definition accurately represent the data in CSUMB Data Warehouse dashboards and IAR's other campus reporting displays?
  • Is there additional information that could be added to better explain the data element?
  • Is the definition written in a way that a new faculty or staff member, just beginning at CSUMB, would be able to understand the data element?

When definitions do not align with your department's or business units' understanding of a particular data element or could be improved with additional information/context, we ask that you update the content of the pages with accurate or more complete information.

How to update/edit data definition pages

Logging In

Viewing Data Definition Pages