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NDUS Procedures

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SUBJECT: 1900s: Miscellaneous EFFECTIVE: March 28, 2012
Section: 1901.5 Data Element Dictionary - Data Quality and Integrity

NDUS Policy 1901.5 states:
Every employee who uses data as part of their job (whether entering, extracting, analyzing or reporting) is responsible for the quality of the data and using it as described in the data element dictionary. The campus CEO is ultimately responsible to ensure that missing or inaccurate data is minimized, and provide timely correction of data issues. The NDUS CIO will provide periodic reports to the campus CEO or designate identifying missing or inaccurate data.

The NDUS System Information Technology Services is responsible for managing the Data Element Dictionary, in consultation with the campuses. The data elements include fields (dimensions) used in computer systems and calculations (facts) made with that data from which campus and university system reports are drawn. By standardizing the data going into the systems, and standardizing calculation formulas, reporting will be more reliable and comparable among campuses.

Data Element DictionaryThe dictionary shall include, at a minimum:
  • The element name
  • Description
  • Business practices (where applicable)
  • Change history, and
  • Owning system
  • Identify required and optional data fields
Data Quality and Integrity
Data is an important asset for the entire University System, and is held to support the fundamental instructional, research and public service missions. This procedure is intended to ensure that campus data has a high degree of integrity, and that key data elements can be integrated across electronic systems. Furthermore, certain data fields will be mandated for use to both ensure accurate and consistent reporting, but also as an additional system internal control function. Especially critical to this process is data cleanup and correction prior to the fourth week reporting period.

Ensuring good data quality is essential if the institutions of the North Dakota University System are to:
  • Be fully accountable for activities and performance to key stakeholders
  • Support effective governance by ensuring robust and timely data is available for strategic planning and decision-making.
  • Use performance information that is comparable over time to drive service improvement
  • Meet statutory responsibilities to publish performance information, and
  • Manage risk of misreporting
Data Entry ProceduresData entry procedures must adhere to the following data quality principles:
  • Accuracy
    • Data shall be sufficiently accurate to present a fair picture of performance
    • The margin of error must be minimized, but balanced against the cost of collection for non-essential designated elements.
    • Data is to be captured only once, although it may be used many times
  • Validity
    • Data shall comply with relevant rules and definitions
    • Data shall be consistent to support comparisons over time
    • Reported data must be authorized by senior managers
  • Reliability
    • Data must be based on stable and consistent data collection and analysis processes
    • Manual manipulation of data must be kept to a minimum; both campus and system reports should be generated from the data warehouse, whenever possible
  • Timeliness
    • Data is captured as quickly as possible during or after the activity
    • Data shall be available within a reasonable time period
  • Relevance
    • Data captured is relevant to the user and appropriate to the purpose for which it is used
    • Information needs shall be reviewed regularly (no less than annually) to reflect changing needs, laws and/or regulations
  • Completeness
    • All essential data elements must be included, and missing, incomplete or invalid data are to be minimized.

New Procedure. Chancellor's Cabinet Meeting, March 28, 2012.
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