University of Wisconsin–Madison

About the CDO

Jason Fishbain is the Chief Data Officer at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  He is currently part of the Office of the CIO and reports to Bruce Maas, Vice Provost for Information Technology and CIO at the UW-Madison.


As the Chief Data Officer, Jason’s responsibilities include creating a data governance program to handle the different types of data the UW produces – administrative, local, and research. He is also responsible for building a data governance framework that has an overarching goal of information literacy for the campus. Information literacy means means educating users and instituting change in four specific areas:

1) Policies and Standards – deciding who is accountable for the data and data policies and crafting a data stewardship policy.

2) Information Quality – controlling workflows to ensure data quality and process quality

3) Privacy, Compliance, and Security – making decisions about what ‘restricted’ and ‘classified’ means, how to comply with privacy and security laws (like FERPA) within our data management plan.

4) Architecture and Integration – having consistent data definitions and data dictionaries

Creating a data governance framework is a large culture overhaul for an institution. It needs technology and people to make the changes work. However, it provides great potential for the Chief Data Officer to assist the research community. It sets up potential for greater institutional support of the research enterprise by providing more resources such as assistance for preparing grant proposals, complying with funding requirements, storage of data, and more.