Thoughtful design and execution of a data governance practice can greatly streamline your organization’s data processes, improve alignment between technical and program staff, enhance data quality, and most importantly, reduce the frustration that comes from siloed thinking and implementation. (See more about the benefits of data governance in our previous blog post.) But taking on the work of organizing across so many units within an organization can seem daunting. There are data definitions to memorialize, common documentation to store in easily-accessible locations, data governance issues to track and resolve, and the like. 

Fortunately there are tools to support this work, and UPD Consulting in partnership with the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation wrote a short guidance document to help education organizations sort out what these tools do and which tools are right for their context. The guidance specifically takes into account the unique needs and resources of education organizations, compared to the larger for-profit firms to which data governance tools are often marketed. The guidance document is available to everyone on the Ed-Fi Alliance Tech Docs Page. (You will need an Ed-Fi Community Login which is free to request from the Ed-Fi Alliance.)  Use this resource to understand the landscape of data governance tools and questions to consider when evaluating your tool needs.