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Module 12: Data Governance Checklist

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Module 11: Data Management


This checklist outlines the best practice elements of an effective data governance program for NSW Government agencies. It is not exhaustive or mandatory.

Strategy and planning

See Module 4

  • The data governance program is tailored to the agency’s specific business needs and strategic objectives, and has buy-in from key functions across the organisation

  • An enterprise-wide data maturity assessment has been undertaken to identify the core data-related issues that need to be addressed to support desired business outcomes

  • The data governance program is focused on solving a specific business problem and focus areas for the data governance program have been identified and prioritised according to their business value

  • The strategy for data governance, as well as the outcomes of data governance initiatives, is frequently communicated to staff to ensure the vision is shared, accepted and sustained

  • Metrics have been developed to assess whether the data governance initiatives are helping to achieve desired outcomes

  • The data governance program is rolled out incrementally across the organisation

Organisational structures

See Module 5

  • A cross-functional senior executive data governance body has been established to oversee data governance decisions and activities across the organisation

  • Working groups have been established to drive data governance projects and address specific data issues across the organisation

  • The expectations and responsibilities of agency data governance bodies have been agreed to and communicated with staff across the organisation

  • Working groups report on a regular basis to the overarching data governance body to ensure bottom-up, as well as top-down, information flows

  • A visual representation of the agency’s data governance structure exists that is accessible to all staff

Assigning roles and responsibilities 

See Module 6

  • Roles and responsibilities have been assigned for all data assets and these responsibilities have been documented in a data catalogue

  • Roles are appropriately matched with the responsible person’s skills, expertise and delegation level

  • The agency has a data governance framework or organisation policy that specifies who is accountable and responsible for various aspects of the data

  • Roles and responsibilities have been adapted to meet the agency’s needs, organisational environment, culture, existing structure, and any limitations

  • All data sharing agreements and service arrangements clearly specify data rights across the full data lifecycle

  • A visual representation of the agency’s data roles and responsibilities exist that is accessible to staff within the organisation


See Module 7

  • Senior leadership display strong, explicit and ongoing commitment for data governance
  • Senior leadership recognise and address data resource needs and infrastructure requirements to support data governance
  • A senior executive decision-making body has been set up and senior leadership participate in decision-making on important opportunities and risk mitigation issues relating to organisational data assets
  • Data metrics and goals have been incorporated into organisational plans and reporting
  • A member or members of the senior executive (aka Chief Data Officer) has been appointed to lead and champion the organisation’s data governance agenda

Data-driven culture

See Module 8

  • A targeted, multi-channel communications plan has been developed and implemented that aligns the agency’s data initiatives with the organisation’s overall objectives

  • Staff have access to learning resources and training opportunities to grow their data literacy

  • The effectiveness of data governance initiatives is measured and communicated to staff

  • Each business unit across the agency has an assigned data leader to champion and engage staff on data governance initiatives

  • Performance metrics have been developed and staff that demonstrate data-driven values and behaviours are recognised and rewarded

  • A network exists for staff across the organisation to collaborate, lead and advocate for the agency’s data agenda

Workforce skills and capability

See Module 9

  • A workforce skills and capabilities needs assessment has been completed

  • A workforce strategy has been implemented to address data skills and capability gaps

  • Staff have access to professional development opportunities (both face-to-face as well as online training) to build both foundational and specialised data skills

  • Teams are either cross-disciplinary or staff with specialised data skills are spread across the organisation and can be leveraged by teams when required

  • All staff have access to data governance resources and are aware of, and trained in, relevant data governance policies and procedures

  • All role descriptions include the data skills and capabilities that are relevant to the data management activities that staff are expected to undertake


See Module 10

  • A current state technical capabilities and architecture assessment has been completed

  • Areas for improvement and automation have been prioritised based on business needs

  • Data governance policies and processes and data management workflows are automated (where appropriate)

  • Technologies are compliant with privacy and security requirements and ensure the privacy and protection of data

  • Implementation of new technologies is accompanied by education, training, documentation and adequate user support

  • Technologies are well-integrated into the organisation's business culture and processes, have user buy-in, and support users to perform their roles more effectively and efficiently

  • Technologies are monitored and regularly reviewed for improvement

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Module 11: Data Management

Last updated 01 Feb 2021