Data governance refers to the organizational process that surrounds decisions about how data is obtained, used, stored, shared, and protected. At ERDC, data governance also involves efforts to increase the use of data to improve education, data quality, and organizational coordination and collaboration. ERDC has a Memorandum of Understanding signed by all education and workforce data contributors, which is used as a guiding document in all data governance decisions.
ERDC has implemented a robust data governance structure that includes all data contributors, representatives from local education agencies and data users. RCW 43.41.400 requires ERDC to perform a number of coordination and collaboration activities. In the current governance system, coordination and communication is extremely important and it requires all participants to make this a priority. In short, the ERDC is housed in the Office of Financial Management, and maintains the data warehouse and coordinates data consolidation and research. ERDC works together with three committees composed of ERDC staff and outside members.
This committee includes staff from the ERDC as well as representatives of various agencies and stakeholder organizations. Their job is to make sure that the right questions are being asked to address the important policy considerations of today. Based on their understanding of the policy questions and needs of their organizations, they make recommendations regarding ERDC's research focus and priorities, and coordinate with the other committees to make sure the ERDC has the data it needs to enact those priorities. The people on this committee are also policy matter experts, and will offer advice to data requestors on their research questions and priorities. This committee updates policies and procedures related to data sharing.
This committee includes staff and researchers from data contributors who are directly familiar with the data contributed by their agency, as well as researchers at the ERDC. This group ensures that data is understood and used correctly. They also help maintain consistent data definitions, and make recommendations regarding who should collect data needed for new questions. In the future, this committee may create policies and procedures related to data stewardship in a P-20 system.
This committee includes technical experts from contributing organizations and the ERDC. This group ensures that data is delivered to whomever needs it, and that it is secure and protected at all times. Technical experts from contributing agencies coordinate on how the data is exchanged between their agency and the data warehouse, and how the data are stored and protected. In the future, this committee may create policies and procedures related to individual agency’s data systems and how they interact with ERDC's longitudinal P-20W system.