In higher education, data about students, employees, administrative and educational activities, and research are increasingly recognized as valuable assets that can be explored to reveal competitive advantages of cost savings, brand image, and improved service delivery. Institutions are increasingly aware that data must be effectively managed for these potential benefits to be realized. This paper is intended to serve as a conversation starter among stakeholders and executives about the importance of having well-planned data governance. It identifies the risks of not having effective governance and the benefits of a good, well-implemented governance strategy, and it outlines the essential purposes and activities of a data governance program, answering three questions: What is data governance? Why is data governance necessary? Who should be involved, and how?
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