Primary Objective/Mission Statement
Provide analytical reporting processes to the university, for using data to do statistical analysis, generate explanatory and predictive models, gain insight and make decisions on complex issues.
What that Means
- Learn how the university stores and uses data in its data systems
- Work with software and hardware providers to establish the university reporting environment
- Coordinate the processing of data from base storage to reporting environments
- Manage the definitions of the university’s data
- Create baseline reports or processes that accommodate the vast majority of general university needs
- Work with the university departmental personnel in training those persons in working with the reporting environment
- Aid in the creation of custom reporting processes for complex needs
- Be the university lead in developing new reporting technologies
How that Works
Be the “gurus” of the various reporting tools used by the university. Act as a first contact for questions in using the reporting tools. Stay abreast of updates, revisions, changes to the reporting tools on behalf of the report consumers at the university.
University Data Systems
Know where the university stores data. Know how those systems interact. Know how data is extracted, ETL’ed, staged, etc. – how the data gets to a point where a report consumer can start to read/use the data.
Know what the data is. What does the data, codes, identifiers, interactions mean in a real world sense (example: “when that field has an ‘F’ – that person is considered a freshman).
Software and Hardware Providers
Work with outside venders and university providers to coordinate and assist in software evaluation, purchasing, installation, and configuration.
Work with outside venders and university providers to coordinate and assist in hardware evaluation, purchasing, installation, and configuration.
Processing – From Raw to Reporting
Facilitate and manage (at the top level – at least) the processes used to extract, transfer, copy, reproduce the raw data and move, copy, transfer, get it into whatever format or place necessary for the reporting consumers to begin to use it. Make sure the processes are happening as expected and make sure the data is correctly transferred (correct numbers, fields, mappings, etc.)
Manage the Definitions
The Reporting Group does not necessarily define university data definitions (“What is a full time student?”, “Who is a transfer student?”, etc.) However, we should be keepers of the dictionary. Maintain a centrally accessible list of definitions. Update definitions as necessary. Provide a place where anything with a question on what it means to be “something” at the university, can go to find out what that is.
Create the standard set of reports, portals, dashboards that can be accessed and used by the university to answer the 90% of the day-to-day, semester-to-semester needs. The Reporting Group should be in charge of the standard set of reports that everyone uses on a regular basis (every college wants the same reports for their college, every department wants the same reports for their department, etc.)
Complex Reporting Needs
Work with department heads, chairs, Deans, etc. to determine what the high level questions are that need answering. Determine what type of trend analysis and forecasting will help answer the higher level questions that will guide the decision makers of the university in making those decisions.
Evaluate new technologies (software, hardware) for use by the university. Stay abreast of developments in data analysis and reporting and determine if and how those might benefit the university.