Data Management Plan Template
Data management is the development, execution and supervision of plans, policies, programs and
practices that control, protect, deliver and enhance the value of data.
“A data management plan is a comprehensive, written document that addresses all activities associated
with your data.”
Identify and Document each of the following aspects to create a reference document for your
State goals for data management – why is this important? What does it prepare the organization to
Data Dictionary: types of data, definition, source
Summarize the types of data you will gather (e.g., participant/client information, etc.) and key sources of
this data (e.g. intake application). Include a definition for each data point. Will source documents be
preserved? If so, in what format (hard copies, scanned files, etc.) and for how long?
Policies for Access and Sharing
Describe process for granting access to data within your organization. Will you share data with any
Data Entry Protocols
Who will enter data into the database, and how often? Who will have permission to edit records?
Minimize data entry errors and inconsistencies by creating masks & pick lists. Set up naming conventions
and make sure clear guidelines are set up around merging records, data import processes and addition of
other third party integrations as well as web integration. Who authorizes these? Document the
validation rules that have been set up.
Describe the various ways you will summarize and present data for staff and other stakeholders. Specify
dashboards and reports to be used at an organizational, department and individual level and include
internal as well as external reports that need to be generated. Consider the questions you want your
data to answer.
Who will have access within the organization and to what data? How will you protect data from
unauthorized access, both within the database and/or on other data storage locations (e.g. your own
server or cloud locations) should you export all or some of the data?
Describe routine backup procedures and their frequency. Document policies for preserving data over
time. Include whether records can be deleted and who has the authority to do so.
Roles and Responsibilities
Identify the data owners and stakeholders. Document who is responsible for each item on this plan.
Designate one individual as the point of contact for all things related to data management. Whether it’s
to field questions, take suggestions or troubleshoot problems that come up, having a central authority
will help to promote a shared knowledge base and continuous improvement of your data management
What will it cost to implement this plan? Make sure that staff time and other costs have been built in and
are approved in advance. Factor in costs for database maintenance including additional customizations
or coaching that might be needed from time to time.
Training and Review
Conduct a hands-on training for all staff involved with handling data. Review your data dictionary and
data collection processes as a group, and encourage staff to ask clarifying questions.
Adoption Tips and Tricks:
• Make it Useful: set up reports and dashboards that help users do their jobs, and they’ll be more
likely to enter the right information
• Get Buy-in: Spend time reviewing this document with the whole team and get feedback
• Reward and Recognize: choose a theme to recognize each month and identify team members
that did a great job. Public recognition and appreciation go a long way
• Train and re-train: Identify gaps and offer refresher trainings often
• Revisit processes: Calendar time in advance for the next review of the data management plan to
evaluate what’s working and what tweaks might be needed. Recommended frequency: annually
at a minimum!
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