What is institutional data?
Definition of institutional data
A piece of data is considered institutional if it meets one or more of the following criteria:
- The data is relevant to planning, managing, operating, or auditing a major administrative function of the university.
- The data is referenced or required for use by more than one organizational unit.
- The data is included in an official university administrative report.
- The data is used to derive a data element that meets these criteria.
Classification of data
As a foundation for making decisions about data access, there are four general classifications of institutional data:
Public data: Few restrictions; general public may
be granted access. (Some data elements classified as public may have
certain dissemination restrictions. For more information, contact the
Office of the VP and General Counsel.)
University-internal data: May be accessed by all
eligible employees of the university, without restriction, in the
conduct of university business; should be the "default" classification
for all data, and access restrictions should be applied only as
Restricted data: Because of legal, ethical, or
other constraints, may not be accessed without specific authorization,
or only selective access may be granted
Critical data: Inappropriate handling of this
data could result in criminal or civil penalties, identity theft,
personal financial loss, invasion of privacy, and/or unauthorized
access to this type of information by an individual or many
For a list of data elements classified as critical, see Data Classifications.
Note: Restricted and critical data are considered sensitive. For more, see What is sensitive data, and how is it protected by law?
Last modified on October 12, 2012.