Case studies icon
Higher Education

Data Governance Drives a University’s Multi-Year Digital Transformation Initiative

Learn how one of the world’s most prestigious universities leveraged data governance to reduce costs, mitigate risks and increase efficiency in cloud migration.


A private, highly selective research university, our client has been a cornerstone of global innovation, entrepreneurship and leadership for decades.

Industry: Higher Education

Background: Our client is undergoing a multi-year digital transformation journey leveraging cloud capabilities to continue serving the university’s mission. The client engaged FSFP to build repeatable and scalable data governance approaches to new data lakes and data governance that ensure a secure, compliant and fit-for-purpose cloud environment. Our data strategy incorporates integrated data management and governance practices to facilitate informed decision-making.

Engagement Type

Provide data governance assessment and support to help the university restore formal data governance processes using a Collibra use case.

Engagement Snapshot

We used Collibra to implement data governance and metadata management for a data lake project under development. The use case highlighted the value of data traceability and technical lineage.

Opportunity Areas

During our engagement, we interviewed stakeholders and leaders involved in the data lake to identify governance processes, concerns and desired outcomes. We used the feedback to create a Collibra use case demonstrating a repeatable and scalable governance process. Mutual goals for the engagement included:

  • Creation of a Collibra community and domain structures that reflect the collaborative nature of governance in cloud-based environments.
  • Ingestion of source and target (data lake) physical data dictionaries.
  • Configuration and ingestion of technical lineage between source and target systems.
  • Traceability of business terms between source systems and target systems.
  • Collibra UI configuration to reduce noise and facilitate metadata discovery, understanding and trust.
  • Support for future Collibra integrations and maintenance of the production environment through training, education and documentation.

FSFP and the organization’s data governance team recognized early in the engagement that the organization needed more essential building blocks for a data governance framework. Specific best practices, strategies and recommendations included:

  • Combining two SaaS vendors with on-premises data, FSFP enhanced Collibra functionality.
  • Defining and expanding the data governance operating model, including critical responsibilities of the committees and forums included.
  • Establishing recommended policies and standards, particularly those related to metadata management and critical data elements.
  • Reducing communication and alignment barriers through organizational change management and data governance value statements.
  • Explaining how data governance reduces cost, reduces risk, and increases efficiency in cloud migration and data lake builds.


Our engagement with the client resulted in the following outcomes:

  • A use case in Collibra highlighting the technical and business lineage for core data concepts.
  • Re-engagement with data stewards, including education and training on curating high-quality data definitions.
  • Development of a data governance operating model that reflects the collaborative nature of data governance in data lake environments.
  • Creation of a framework for sustained data governance.
  • Development of an initial RACI to guide data governance practices.
  • A clear understanding of the functional differences between data governance and data management.
  • Education and training on Collibra architecture and configuration to support ongoing operating model “refactoring.”