Data Profile Tool


October 2011 - January 2013
University of Michigan - College of Literature, Science, & the Arts

The University of Michigan, and the College of Literature, Science, & the Arts within it, has data security guidelines and procedures to ensure that the research data contained by the university faculty is secure. However, having policies and procedures is a far cry from the data actually being secure. Faculty need to be aware of the sensitivity of their data, they need to be able to get help taking measures to secure their data, and administrators need to keep track of all the faculty, the sensitivity of their data, and the steps that are being taken to secure that data. I was brought in to address these needs in the shape of an interactive tool for assessing data sensitivity, deploying assistance to get help in securing insecure data, and tracking faculty and institutional compliance.

The resultant Data Profile Tool is a web application built in Drupal. It guides faculty through a series of steps in which they answer questions about their research in order to assess its sensitivity. They then answer additional questions about their ability to comply with data protection measures based on their data sensitivity. Upon completion, the submission enters into an administrative workflow whereby it is automatically routed to key personnel who are asked to assist the faculty in getting the data secured and compliant. This workflow process goes through a series of steps to facilitate the IT and facilities personnel to enter information about the assistance they gave the faculty, and allow the administrators to track which faculty have completed the process and which faculty need more assistance.

What I did

Developed application from scratch using Drupal to assess the sensitivity of researchers’ data and provide mechanisms to get assistance to help researchers secure their data.

  • Designed custom subtheme
  • Built large custom module to create and manage application interaction flow
  • Integrated with external authentication system (Cosign)
  • Integrated with multiple external data sources

Data Profile Tool