The Student Sunrise project works with the Office of Data Governance (ODG) to enhance and better organize our student data. 

Data governance provides the university with an organizational framework for managing our data. It aims to maximize the value of the university’s data for informed decision-making while minimizing risks to data security and quality. 

Benefits of Data Governance 

  • Improved data quality
  • Superior decision-making 
  • Improved operational efficiency 
  • Better understanding of data  
  • Increased confidence in data  
  • Regulatory compliance 


During the Discovery Phase, the Student Sunrise project team identified terms in multiple current state assessments that would be critical to the configuration of Workday Student. You may view the current state assessments on the Discovery Phase webpage under Functional & Technical Work.  

The project team gathered and defined more than 700 terms and values. They identified any terms that should have common definitions across campus, as well as those that will likely remain complex terms, meaning alignment isn’t possible, and multiple definitions will continue to exist for those terms. 

Later in the project, the ODG will publish these legacy terms in Collibra, the home for the university’s term glossary and source of truth for data.  

Architect, Configure & Prototype

Now that the project team is actively configuring Workday Student, they can see how these key terms work in practice in the system. During the ACP Stage, the team will focus on four things: defining key terms, documenting naming conventions and field formats, securing our data, and documenting systems of record. 

1. Identifying Key Terms

The project team and ODG are identifying key terms related to academic and student processes and reports. As terms surface during system configuration, the team asks questions like:  

  • If I were new to WashU, would I know what this term means?  
  • Is this a term that people generally do not understand? 
  • Is this term different in Workday than it is today? 

2. Validating Common Definitions 

After the project team identifies a key term, they work with the ODG to create common definitions and aim for alignment between schools and units when possible. The ODG then uploads the data to Collibra

3. Data Security

Data security protects our data by providing guidelines for who needs access to view, create and maintain our data. Common definitions for terminology, particularly security roles, are critical to ensuring that our people have the right access to the right data. As we identify and define terms, the project’s functional and security teams work together to assign appropriate data access to each security role.  

For example, today the university has nine different types of advisors with little alignment on the understanding of each advisor’s functions. The Student Sunrise project team is developing common definitions for advisor types to ensure each advisor has access to the appropriate data to support their students. 

4. Documenting Systems of Record

Because Workday integrates with many systems, identifying the system of record for key terms and data elements is critical to maintaining accurate data. The system of record may vary by data element, so this is documented in Collibra.  

For example, Slate is the largest integration with Workday and serves as the system of record for admissions data. Workday creates student records based on information that applicants provided in Slate. 

Read more about the Student Sunrise project’s data governance efforts in this article.

Read more about the ODG’s larger strategy at the university on their website.

Project Team

  • Mecca Baker, Student Sunrise Process Lead  
  • Christy Harting, business analyst, Data Governance 

Data governance is a cross-functional effort for the Workday Student project, and all team members will contribute to the project’s data governance activities. Mecca and Christy lead the alignment between the project and the Office of Data Governance.