Charles Sturt University
Charles Sturt University


The Enterprise Architecture Information portfolio provides an enterprise view of the form and condition of CSU's information and data assets. Predominately the focus is on digitised information and data assets however physical forms are not excluded.

The Information portfolio is managed by the Enterprise Architect (Information).


CSU business decisions, activities and communications are informed or determined by information compiled from various organisational data sources.

The existence, availability, timeliness, accuracy and protection of organisational data sets are a fundamental component in enabling CSU to meet its strategic objectives and operational goals. They also allow CSU to derive actionable intelligence from the data compiled in business operations.

In building CSU's information capability, activities within the portfolio will also occur at the lower data level (foundation layer of information).

As data is essential in delivering on information capability, it must be fit for purpose. Poor quality data will lead to a degradation in data quality which is then reflected and amplified in the information layer.  Portfolio artefact and resource labels reflect the level at which they are to be applied.

The industry recognised knowledge pyramid diagram below illustrates the relationship between data and information.

The ability to establish and maintain a collection of information and data assets that effectively serve CSU's business needs is a combination of governance, people, process and technology.

There are strong interdependencies with the other architecture portfolios to deliver on information capability and contribute to Enterprise Architecture. The Enterprise Architecture portfolios are commonly presented as layers to illustrate interdependencies and how each layer links to the layer below. Business determines the information required and captured within CSU applications, made available online or mobile as supported by our security and technology infrastructure.

Building and maintaining information capability is done in collaboration with business stakeholders and colleagues within DIT including: initiative planning, project and service delivery teams.

Information portfolio capability requirements and priorities are determined by the organisational agenda established in the University Strategy (i.e. the upper business architecture layer). These requirements and priorities are enabled by lower technology, application and infrastructure architectural layers with changes implemented through the appropriate channel (e.g. projects, significant works or maintenance activities).

A number of current external opportunities and challenges in building CSU's information capability can be described as:

  • The ease at which technology enables data and information to be created, accessed and transferred;
  • Emerging disruptive technologies;
  • Changing nature of user expectations, behaviours and mobility; and
  • The balance between protection and availability

There is a natural tension between these in which it is important to be aware and consider in information capability planning and delivery activities to maximise opportunities but avoid unexpected, negative outcomes.

The breadth and complexity of CSU's information needs requires discipline and rigour in the generation, use and lifecycle management of data and information. This helps us avoid the proliferation of unnecessary information that can:

  • Distract,
  • Introduce risk or extra costs, or
  • Take away the ability to deliver timely identification, access and protection of the necessary business information

Within the portfolio, a measure of value (e.g. optimise revenue, cost control and risk reduction) is applied when assessing the extent and condition of CSU's information collection. These measures also inform decisions on requirements, priority and scope and support the ability to maximise investment and minimise risk associated with CSU's information capability.

Key Concepts

Providing well-formed insight into the requirements, extent, health and availability of CSU's Information portfolio requires understanding of a number of key concepts including:

Concept Description
Information and Data Assets The context and nature of work within the portfolio can be focused at the lower foundation data level or at the higher information view and reflected in available portfolio activities and resources.
Assets Within the portfolio, organisational information and data sets are viewed as strategic organisational assets (as distinct from a technology asset). The label 'asset' has been applied in this portfolio to reflect the value and importance to the University.
Principles A set of data principles have been established to guide and inform decisions in the continued development of information and data assets. Requirements and priority of information and data asset development is informed by the University Strategy and enabling Sub Plans.
Governance The CSU Data Governance Committee (DGC) governs the means by which data assets are defined, controlled, used and communicated for the benefit of CSU. Legislative regulations and CSU policies are other foundation governance mechanisms that inform information capability.
Custodian The management of assets within CSU's extensive information and data collection is distributed as informed by organisational structure, delegations and policy. A primary contact and contributor to the University's information capability is the established role of Data Custodian and Information Custodian. Strong engagement and collaboration between the Enterprise Architect (Information) and Information Custodian is mutually valuable to the organisation and information portfolio.
Classification Schemes Classifications (e.g. security, physical location, domain) are a key mechanism used for understanding individual assets. They also provide an organisational view to support different perspectives of an information or data asset and inform planning, management, priority and protection strategic or operational decisions.
Data Quality The degree to which an information or data asset can be a trusted source of any and/or all required uses. Data quality includes having the right information at the right time and place for the right people to use when running the business, serving customers and achieving organisational goals. Quality is measured by dimensions such as availability, accuracy, consistency and completeness.
Lifecycle Management Important aspect in building capability. Knowing where information or data is at in its lifecycle:

* Increases the effectiveness of planning and use;
* Informs the timely management and governance needs such as: access, data retention schedules, decommissioning, exit strategies; and
* Can introduce opportunities to maximise use, minimise risks and costs
Health A measure of information asset capability to deliver on organisational information and data needs.  A number of characteristics contribute to the health of an information asset including:

* Quality,
* Utilisation,
* Protection,
* Value, and
* Lifecycle status
Master Data Within CSU's information and data collection, some data needs to be shared between information systems to support business operations. To ensure the correct and authoritative data is shared, the Information portfolio manages a catalogue of authoritative 'master' data asset descriptions that contribute to the sharing of accurate data. This is an adopted industry best practice, the discipline of master data management.

Key Artefacts

The extent, form and condition of CSU's information and data assets is assessed, registered and reported through the use of the following resources:

Title Description Date
Information Asset Register A list of organisational information assets and key characteristics. 

Provides visibility on the University's information collection to support planning, management, compliance and building capability maturity.
Aug 2015*
Master Data Listing A listing of current master data assets, grouped by nominated primary master data domain.

Provides a view of the extent, form and condition of currently registered master data assets. Supports planning, governance and delivery change activities such as projects or service delivery activities.

The list is extracted from the Master Data Catalogue (see information below under 'Resources').
Dec 2015
Personal Information Application Listing A listing of CSU applications that hold personal information.  Contributes to CSU's privacy legislation compliance by having an organisational view of applications that hold personal information. Dec 2015
Enterprise Data Issue Register A register of identified quality issues associated with one or more enterprise information or data assets.  The purpose of the register is to provide visibility to support decisions on priority and resolution activities. Feb 2016

* - Document currently under review / redevelopment


Support for planning and building CSU's information capability is provided through the following resources:

Title Description Date
Information Asset Identification Guide A guide for identifying CSU information assets for the purpose of supporting:
* ICT planning,
* Initiative proposals, and
* Existing information systems
Jan 2015
Data Principles Principles to be applied when making decisions on the capture, use and management of data (assets) within the organisation. Mar 2011
Information and Data Standards Description of the information and data standards to be applied in the:
* capture,
* management, and
* use of organisational information or data assets (includes data shared between organisational systems, also referred to as 'master data'). 
Mar 2015*
Integration StandardsDescribes the standards to which data being shared or copied between one of more applications must conform.Jul 2011*
Data Security Classifications Describes the CSU data security classification scheme.

To be used as part of the security assessment for information or data assets in order to meet NSW Government information security compliance and inform the implementation of appropriate protection and handling CSU information.
Mar 2015
Data Security and Governance Committee Terms of Reference A description of the purpose and structure of the Data Security and Governance Committee (DSGC). Sep 2017
Integration and Information Roadmap A model that shows key capability building objectives over the next 18 months. Dec 2015
Data Management Framework A framework that outlines the basic elements required within an institutional context to support effective data management. Jun 2015*
Information Asset Lifecycle Describes the information asset lifecycle. Used in information asset lifecycle stage identification to aid more effective and timely planning or management.   Jan 2016
Information and Data Quality Overview Factors to consider in the measurement of information and data quality. Aug 2015
Master Data Overview General description of master data, and the purpose and strategic objectives within CSU.

Informational resource for new staff, particularly DIT staff.
Dec 2014*
Master Data Governance Roles Overview of the key roles and responsibilities associated with master data. Jun 2015*
Master Data Domains Describes the current method of grouping master data assets to facilitate:

* planning,
* requirements,
* searching, and
* management of master data assets.

Assists building and improvements made to information capability and supports the delivery of change activities (e.g. projects).
Aug 2015
Master Data Catalogue The Master Data Catalogue is a description of master data assets. Information captured includes:

* details of the authoritative source system/s,
* purpose,
* security classification, and
* custodians. 

The Catalogue is a core resource in contributing to the ability to share required and accurate data between CSU applications. It also supports governance and delivery of change activities (projects or service delivery) in information capability activities.

CSU Staff can access the Enterprise Master Data Catalogue through the S drive:
S:\Common\Master Data\MD_Definitions\MD_Definition_Library.htm
Dec 2015
Glossary of terms A set of definitions for terms relevant to the Information portfolio. Jan 2016

* - Document scheduled for review / redevelopment

Common Queries

Query Supporting Artefact / Process
What is an information asset? Information that describes a 'thing' of interest for a specified purpose, context and granularity that gives it meaning and relevance.  For more information, refer to the Information Asset Identification Guide
Is information/data 'x' already captured and stored within a CSU application or system? Search the Information Asset Register for listed assets and/or the Master Data Definitions Catalogue (available at S:\Common\Master Data\MD_Definitions\MD_Definition_Library.htm).
Why is it that information or data assets that I oversee are not listed in the information assets register? The register is a living artefact and will be built out over time with periodic version updates. Any new entries or amendments, contact the Enterprise Architect (Information).   
Is there a guide on the key things to consider in planning and managing data within a CSU application? Refer to the Information and Data Standards.These standards outline core aspects/factors and how they need to be addressed within CSU's information technology environment. The Data Principles also help to inform decision-making, particularly at a planning and design phase.  
How can the quality of information or data be measured? Refer to the Information and Data Quality Overview document for an outline of characteristics that can measured to provide a measure of quality. 

If assistance is required in planning a quality assessment, contact the Enterprise Architect (Information).
What are the known enterprise data issues? Refer to the Enterprise Data Issue Register
How do I report an enterprise data issue? Contact the Enterprise Architect (Information).  If a brief description of the issue, business impact, example/s and any other key factors are available this assists registration and first assessment.
What is the process to have enterprise data issues resolved? Registered issues are assessed and prioritised for investigation and resolution actions.  For further information, contact the Enterprise Architect (Information).
Who do I talk to about using information/data 'x'? If required, information or data is registered. Details of the respective Custodian are available either from the Information Asset Register or the Master Data Definitions Catalogue.

If not currently registered, please contact the Enterprise Architect (Information).
What is the process for gaining approval to share data between CSU applications? Approval must be obtained from the relevant nominated Data Custodian.

To reduce the risk of incorrect data access or use, the Data Access Template is available to address governance and formal approval needs. 

Within a CSU technology project, this is a required step as referenced within the Data Access Process Overview.
Who is responsible for data that is shared between applications? A number of organisational roles contribute to data sharing as outlined within the Master Data Governance Roles document.

If more information is required, contact the Enterprise Architect (Information).