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Data Governance for Public Decision Making

Time limit: 90 days

$175 Enroll

Full course description

Data governance is decision making around the management of data. Data are increasingly becoming one of the most important assets a public sector organization manages, and a strong data governance practice with shared, clear processes and policies, means being able to leverage that asset to its highest potential uses. 

During this self-paced online course we will explore what kinds of data governance decisions a public sector organization must make and best practices in those data management areas. We will also cover how to build a data governance practice, setting up the structure and culture for the work to continue sustainably within a government organization. We focus heavily on the change management aspects of starting a new practice, the ways in which data governance supports equity within data management, and the specific practicalities of implementing data governance in public sector organizations that often do not have the resources of the more highly-resourced private sector companies.

Who should take this course? 

As data are becoming increasingly critical to every function in government work, having a good understanding of what data governance is and how to do it is important to the success of any public sector leader or manager. But these groups of people might more directly benefit from this course:

Government leaders using data to make decisions 

Government leaders accountable for the data their organization collects

Data analysts using data to understand issues and solve problems

Data technicians collecting, cleaning, storing, and securing data, and 

Policy makers whose policies inform the ethical and effective management of data

Course Outline

Session One explores the many ways governments use data, what data governance is and why good data governance is important to the public sector mission.

Session Two focuses on creating a data strategy through use case development. We then pivot and discuss government data sharing, both internal and external to the organization.

Session Three looks at the people, processes, and tools important to good data collection and to support data transformation. We also discuss the legacy of our data collections and how we help others to understand the data we collect.

Session Four covers data privacy and the essential role the data governance committee plays in these important ethical debates. As part of this session, we further explore the concept of open data, a method of sharing data publicly.

Session Five covers the components of the data governance business case, dives into best practices for getting buy-in to the governance work and explores the foundational elements of change management to support implementation and sustainability of your data practices. 

Session Six dives deeply into the how’s and why’s of two critical planning tools to data governance work—the data governance charter and the data governance road map. We also discuss the data governance committee structural relationships and routines further.

Session Seven wraps up the discussion on data use and governance maturity and reviews what we’ve learned, hearing from my colleagues on some parting advice for this work.

Instructor Bios

Ann Willemssen directs UPD’s organizational transformation, economic mobility and data governance portfolios. All of her work centers on how we can better use data to improve people’s lives while focusing on the human-side of transformation in really understanding and using information for its best use. To support this goal, she helps government leaders place greater emphasis on early and frequent stakeholder engagement, thoughtfully articulate their change vision, target their use and management of data to the outcomes they hope to achieve, and center their change work in inclusivity.  

Prior to joining UPD, Ann worked for the City Administrator of the District of Columbia implementing strategic initiatives across agencies, and she led performance improvement projects for DC’s Office of the State Superintendent of Education. She also worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture on their low-income nutrition programs.

Ann holds a Master of Public Policy from the Goldman School at the University of California at Berkeley and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Oberlin College.

Doug Austin is the founder of UPD Consulting, and his engagements have included large-scale management reform projects for a multitude of public sector agencies, non-profit organizations, and foundations. Those projects range from a top-to-bottom restructuring of the Detroit Public Schools, to the process design of a workforce development database for the Baltimore Empowerment Zone, to the creation of loan portfolio guidelines for the DC Department of Housing & Community Development. Doug’s expertise was developed as an executive leader within local government agencies. Prior to starting UPD, he was the Chief of Staff of the Baltimore City Public Schools, the Deputy Commissioner of Baltimore Housing, Interim Chief of Programs & Policy for Empower Baltimore Management Corporation, and a Management Analyst for the Oakland City Manager’s Office. He also worked in small business and commercial lending for several years.

Doug received his BA in Politics from Princeton University and his Master of Public Policy from the University of California at Berkeley, Goldman School of Public Policy.