A data czar is the single representative at a partner institution who has the credentials to download and decrypt edX data packages. The data czar is responsible for transferring data securely to researchers and other interested parties after it is received. Due to the sensitivity of this data, the responsibility for these activities is restricted to one individual.
At each partner institution, the data czar is the primary point of contact for information about edX data.
At some institutions, only the data czar works on research projects that use the course data in edX data packages. At other institutions, the data czar works with a team of additional contributors, or is responsible only for making a secure transfer of the data to the research team. Typically, the data team includes members in the following roles (or a data czar with these skill sets).
For more information, see Skills and Experience of Other Contributors.
All of the individuals who are permitted to access the data should be trained in, and comply with, their institution’s secure data handling protocols.
The individuals who are selected by a partner institution to be edX data czars typically have experience working with sensitive student data, are familiar with encryption, decryption, and file transfer protocols, and can validate, copy, move, and store large files.
Depending on the size of your institution and the number of contributors in the research team, the data czar might need to be a qualified research and analytics team lead, a senior research manager, or direct the research and analytics program.
The data czar is responsible for ensuring compliance with your institution’s and country’s regulations with respect to the sharing of this data.
The edX Analytics team adds every data czar to a Google Group and mailing list called course-data.
EdX also hosts an Open edX Analytics wiki that is available to the public. The wiki provides links to the engineering roadmap, information about operational issues, and release notes describing past releases.
In addition to the data czar, each partner institution assembles a team of contributors to their research projects. This team can include database administrators, software engineers, data specialists, and educational researchers. The team can be large or small, but collectively its members need to be able to work with SQL and NoSQL databases, write queries, and convert the data from raw formats into standard research packages, such as CSV files, spreadsheets, or other desired formats.