Non-Proliferation of Redundant Data Stores

002.2016.02 - Non-Proliferation of Redundant Data Stores

Effective: April 7, 2016  (ref. 002.2016.02)

Drafted: March 2016

Approved by DMC: April 7, 2016       

I. Guideline: Non-Proliferation of Redundant Data Stores

Unnecessary duplication of institutional data is strongly discouraged.  Institutional data are to be stored and used efficiently, eliminating or minimizing any redundancies in hardware, software, processes, reports, or analyses, or the efforts of personnel resources who support them.

Data Stewards are responsible for making institutional data available from official Systems of Record and in accordance with university policies and procedures, in a manner that minimizes redundant storage and processing of those data in local and departmental (non-System of Record) repositories. In addition, the Institutional Data Store (IDS), managed by the Information Quest (IQ) department, serves as the enterprise repository for historical, trend, and cross-functional institutional data and should be leveraged as needed to provide appropriate data access, continuity, reporting, analysis, and decision support in a manner that minimizes the need for widespread duplication or redundant storage of institutional data.

Redundant data are copies of authoritative institutional data created for use in university systems other than the System of Record. As such, redundant data are transitory information that should not be stored or retained beyond fulfillment of its intended purpose, and information created from those data should cite the authoritative system(s) of record as the data source wherever possible.

Exceptions to this guideline are allowable for purposes of business continuity or fail-over, or when no other appropriate or viable options exist to meet mission-critical requirements.

This guideline provides NO exceptions on matters of compliance with existing Records Management and retention policies.(See: VIII. Policy References )


II. Purpose

Redundant storage of institutional data introduces potential inefficiencies in our operations, at great potential cost to both colleges and the institution as a whole. These inefficiencies may take the form of duplicated requests for datasets from steward offices, shadow databases proliferating throughout campus, and resulting redundancies in dedicated hardware, software, and personnel resources. Risks of accidental or malicious disclosure of controlled or sensitive data are greatly increased with each duplication of data.  Furthermore, accurate definitions, methodologies, and data integrity may be compromised when multiple versions of those data persist.  Therefore, it is essential for campus units to endeavor to utilize centralized data stores and access methods, to the extent possible, rather than duplicating those data to a local data store for further processing or reporting.


III. Scope & Audience 

This guideline applies to all units of the university.  The guideline does not include data created or maintained in the conduct of university research.


IV. Definitions (specific to this guideline)


V. Website (for policy)


VI. Contacts 




DMC Chair

VII. Related Information 

 The Data Management Committee is currently developing a “Data Access and Use Guide” that further describes the appropriate uses of institutional data.

This guideline neither precludes nor supersedes any existing legal, regulatory, or university rule or policy.


VIII. Policy References

DMC Guideline005.2016.03 Definition of Institutional Data

DMC Procedure 804.2016.03 Requests for Redundant Storage of Institutional Data

HOP 3-1410 Records Management

University of Texas at Austin Records Retention Schedule (UTRRS)

Handbook of Business Procedures 20.6.3. Transitory Information Records

IX. History 

Last revision date: n/a