In the realm of data governance it is important to have a quick indicator of the quality of a report, dashboard or data source. IRDS, in conjunction with our campus partners, has developed the Data Rating System (DRS). This rating system is intended to be a visual indication of the quality of data that is available at BSU. This process is outlined in some detail below. However, the summary is that every dashboard and data source created should have some form of dating rating. If the source is unrated, it should be tagged as such.

Data ratings fall into two broad categories with different sets of criteria. One set of standards is for data sources and the other is for data visualizations.

Ratings for data sources

This process it intended for rating the quality of data sources. This could include a wide range of sources from such systems as Banner, Slate or Navigate. However it can also include other data sources like surveys or external data providers (such as the National Student Clearinghouse). This rating is intended to let users of these sources understand how much validation, documentation and review the source has undergone. This rating is then the baseline for the next rating.


Ratings for Visualizations

For end users the more visible portion of the data rating system will occur on visualizations. For all new visualizations created in Tableau BSU requires that they have a visible badge from the data rating system. This rating system has 4 levels of validation. At the lowest level is ‘unrated’ and this rank is for visuals that may be based on unvalidated data and are created with some urgency to meet a specific need. Unrated does not mean that the report is of poor quality; it means simply that the report has not been rated and is of uncertain quality. The next level is the bronze level; at the bronze level this means that both the data source and the visual are rated and have met a minimum level of validation. The next level is silver and it indicates that the report has passed a thorough level of review and that definitions for the report are available in BSU’s Data Cookbook. At the gold level these are the premier reports for the university and they have passed extensive ongoing validation and are thoroughly documented in Data Cookbook.

If you are seeing these on a report you now know more about what they mean!