Policies, Procedures, and Standards

Institutional Data Policy

Issued Sept. 1, 2020 and effective Jan. 1, 2021, the Institutional Data Policy establishes minimum requirements for the management and stewardship of institutional data resourcesThe policy defines roles and responsibilities for managing data with plans for data identification, documentation, classification, sharing and access in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.

Read the full Institutional Data Policy (UW-Madison’s Policy Library)

Read more about the policy on the Institutional Data Policy information page.

Read the Implementation Statement. 

Data Procedures and Standards

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Data Definitions and Approval

Data sources and products at UW Madison are cataloged and described in the UW Madison Data Cookbook (restricted access) which can be viewed publicly through our search interface, RADAR (institutional data dashboards and reports) and associated glossary of terms and definitions.

Data terms are reviewed and approved by data governance. New data products or data systems should consult with the appropriate data steward(s) on aligning terms and definitions.

Data Issue Management

Institutional Data Policy ( UW 523) requires that institutional data be treated as a shared university resource and be responsibly managed throughout the entire data lifecycle. In order to do so, there must be a process for identifying, quantifying, prioritizing, and resolving data governance and data management issues in a timely way, which is established with this procedure.

Data Access and Authorization

Institutional Data Policy (UW 523) requires that access to protected institutional data be authorized and managed. In order to do so, there must be a standard for requesting access, determining whether authorization is granted, the rights and responsibilities that accompany authorization, how and when authorization may be revoked, and tracking and documentation of authorization.

Read the full Institutional Data Access and Authorization Standard (March 1, 2021)
Form: Request access to institutional data

What Data?
Standard applies to all products, systems, services, or applications that generate, collect, store, maintain, transmit, or record protected institutional data. This includes:

  • Data Products (e.g., data visualizations, reports)
  • Data Systems (e.g., SFS, HRS, Lumen)
  • Data services or applications (e.g., Canvas, APIs)

Who this impacts?

This standard applies to ALL individuals who access protected institutional data for any purpose regardless of medium.

Who decides?

Authorization requests are granted or denied by the applicable institutional Data Steward or delegate. Appeals may be made to the applicable steward (if delegated) or the domain Trustee.

Based on what criteria?

Individuals will be authorized to access protected institutional data based on 1) the security classification of the data and 2) the stated business purpose of the need or intended use.

Data access flowchart



Data Documentation

Institutional Data Policy (UW 523) requires that institutional data sources, elements, processes, integrations, and products be documented and communicated. In order to do so, there must be a standard for determining what is subject to the documentation requirement, what constitutes sufficient documentation, and the roles and processes for creating documentation.


Release of Wiscard Photos to Applications

Wiscard photos are considered to be sensitive data according to the UW–Madison data classification policy.

Learning Analytics Data Use

UW-Madison is committed to the success of all students and seeks to strategically integrate learning analytics (LA) into the educational practice landscape.  These guiding principles are the first step toward the creation of policies for ethical LA practice at the institution.

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