CSG Spring 2015 – The Data Driven University, part 2

Tom Lewis, Washington

Who are the traditional players? Institutional Research; Office of Educational Assessment; Data Warehouse Team (do good work, saw their client as being Finance).

Modern players & practices – Sources of Change: From Above (President, Provost, VPs, AVPs, Chancellors); From the middle (Deans, chairs, heads of admin units (especially those focused on undergrads); From below (staff doing work, faculty); From the outside (BI and analytics vendors).

Becoming Modern –

Course Demand Dashboards – Notify.uw. Enterprising students screen scraping registration system for notifying about openings in courses, charging other students. So built notify.uw – can notify when openings occur in class via email or SMS. Almost 25k subscribers. What else can be done with the data? Understanding course demand: Notify.UW knows what classes students want; student system knows about course offerings and utilization of capacity. Mashed them up to see where demand exceeded capacity.

The Cool stuff: Central IT BA’s and engineers pulled in a like minded colleague from the DW to do innovation work with data. Provost, deans, and chairs got excited; built out dashboards using Tableau.

The Great Civitas Pilot – Why Student Success Analytics? People don’t understand much about their students, when to do interventions, longtitudinal views of program efficacy and impacts. Tried to use Civitas – take data from student system, LMS, and data warehouse. Illume: Analyze key institution metrics, starting with persistence; view historical results and predictions of future. Inspire for Advisors

The Cool stuff: Admin heads looked to IT to help solve problem because of success of course dashboard. Faculty, teaching and program support staff are eager to get started.

Show Me the Data!

Assessment folks didn’t understand the value of giving access to data that hasn’t been analyzed. IT team interviewed people for data needs, then involved assessment people in building dashboards with Tableau to realize those needs.

Data Warehouse folks have gotten the religion – look at the UW Data & Analytics page.

Central IT is the instigator and change agent, but needs BAs with deep data analysis skills.

We all need to be hiring data scientists with deep curiosity – can’t keep having technical folks with answers of it takes too long to go through the data. Should partner with existing data science centers on campus. If we’re really going to data-driven universities IT will be at the center – we touch all the parts of the institution, we have the tools, and we know more about how data interacts.

Mark Chiang – UC Berkeley

Used to have to go to separate offices to get data, mash up into spreadsheets, do pivot tables, for every request.

Data Warehouse: Cal Answers – Students (applicants, curriculum, demographics, financials); Alumni; Finance; Research; HR; Facilities.

Built out high level dashboard for deans and chairs – answer questions about curricula. Enrollments, Offerings, instructor data, etc.  Facilitates discussions between deans and faculty and administrators. Effort was driven by CFO. Makes job much easier. Added substantial additional investment.

Can build out prototypes in a couple of weeks on top of live data to prove concepts before building the real enterprise work.

Discussion

Will the data warehouse look significantly different in a few years? We don’t do a good job of understanding the way data security needs to change as data ages. There’s a place to incorporate new types of data like sentiment analysis on social media. Instructure is working on making Canvas data available via AWS Redshift. Much of the new thinking and activity about data is not coming from the traditional BI/DW teams, but those folks are more willing to partner now than they used to be.

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