How do we prevent data un-integrity?

I was asked by higher ed business publication about data integrity and how we maintain it. Specifically, how does PSU assure that we do not have multiple databases where key data is not current or consistent? I felt like the answer was too easy. When you have an integrated information system, your people need to work integrated. Then I realized the real challenge had nothing to do with technology and everything to do with people and working effectively together.

First, not all schools work the way we do. We have a good system users’ group. (Studard) All the major stakeholders participate. The Registrar, Bursar, Financial Aid, Admissions, Grad School, ITS and others realize that it is in our collective best interest to work together - with common data and standards - to serve our students, admin and faculty well.

Second, you need to have a strong executive steering committee where higher-level, strategic decisions can be made. It requires VP's to work well together and make decisions as a group. We’ve got that, too.

Finally, when you implement a new, integrated information system, you agree on standards, on data and business practices, and you make that the context within which everyone works. When everyone reads from the same sheet music, the harmony is wonderful.

PSU, appreciate how well we have it! Apparently there are many others who don’t.