“Data Governance is shifting UMS data culture. While targeted projects are improving individual data areas, a broader, cultural change is also occurring: data consistency is increasingly advocated for by employees across our functional areas.”
Rosa Redonnett, Assoc. Vice Chancellor for Student Success & Credential Attainment, UMS
MaineStreet Campus Solutions Access
This group created an online form for requesting access to the student and academic areas of MaineStreet: Campus Solutions. Campus-based paper forms and ad hoc requests were replaced with a system-wide electronic form and accompanying procedures to be utilized across all functional areas and institutions within the UMS. The process ensures FERPA training completion and streamlines requesting, approving, and granting access for all involved. Audit procedures are also in place to maintain the new processes.
This workgroup reviewed all existing course instruction modes across the University of Maine System, surveyed the higher education landscape, and researched the needs of our UMS institutions in order to recommend a single set of consistent instruction mode descriptions, definitions and codes. The system-wide modes were revised by the Provosts’ Council in 2020 and the new codes have been in place across UMS campuses since the Summer 2021 term.
“The framework DG has implemented to work through projects is clear, concise, and efficient. It also gathers the right individuals to thoughtfully work through the project and ensure nothing is missed.”
Christina Stephens, Student Administrative Systems Subject Matter Expert, Interim ERP Systems Service Delivery Lead Service Delivery and Support, UMS
The Early College (EC) project tackled four distinct data quality issues, greatly improving coding consistency and ease of reporting.
- Students are now all coded into two Early College program codes
- Course instructors are now all included in MaineStreet with an instructor type of Early College
- Courses are now all coded into section numbers indicating Concurrent Enrollment or Bridge Year offerings
- Instruction sites are now consistently coded across all institutions in the Facility ID Description
This workgroup made significant improvements to the accuracy, consistency, and security of our First Generation data. In addition to an automated process for identifying First Generation Students, the reporting flag for report writers to utilize was directly aligned with the automated process to ensure accuracy across data sources. An audit checks the data sources regularly, and corrections are made as errors are identified. Finally, to protect Restricted data generated through the Financial Aid application process, a list of approved use cases was compiled, and a request form was created to ensure the security and appropriate use of First Generation data.
“Completion of the Early College Coding project saves me a couple of hours for every report I write that directly involves early college (i.e. Fall, Spring, Summer, and the Early College report), and makes additional ad-hoc reporting much faster. It also makes it much easier to identify whether errors are on my end or within the data, and if the latter, send questions directly to the specific institutions”
Justin Young, UMS Institutional Research
Student Location Data Quality
The Student Location workgroup began its work in 2019 within the Distance Education Data Governance workgroup, to solve the issue of missing data regarding the physical location of our students—information that is required for NC-SARA and state authorization. The group has formulated and created an Activity Guide within MaineStreet to solicit information from students across the UMS. Through the guide, students update their home and local addresses, as well as their contact information and emergency contacts, creating an additional boost in data quality for purposes related to student and community health and safety in addition to the information required for NC-SARA and state authorization.
A number of Data Governance projects created resources for stewards of all types. Data Stewards are often the first point of contact for questions related to student, academic, research, and organizational administration data. A task force developed the UMS Data Stewardship framework that formalizes already-existing stewardship functions and provides support for stewards. Additionally, a separate task force developed a four-tiered data classification system, and published the UMS Data Classification APL. The UMS Power BI Governance Team created a website for Data Responsible Use & Best Practices, providing resources and data usage guidance. Ultimately, it’s this broader commitment to stewardship and responsible use, together with an ever-increasing utilization of data to inform decision making, that advances our institutional data capabilities and culture.
“Our ongoing ERP (MaineStreet) Assessment project to devise a roadmap for Unified Accreditation (UA) has identified consistent data coding standards as a common need across all functional areas. Accordingly, data standards and coding consistency will prove essential for the University’s UA effort and UMS Data Governance will play a critical role in ensuring our success.”
David Demers, CIO, UMS