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A Single Version of the Truth: Using Business Intelligence to Inform Policy and Decision-Making. Presented to TAIR March 2010 by Kristi D. Fisher Associate Vice Provost and Director, Office of Information Management & Analysis The University of Texas at Austin. Overview.

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a single version of the truth using business intelligence to inform policy and decision making

A Single Version of the Truth: Using Business Intelligence to Inform Policy and Decision-Making

Presented to TAIR

March 2010

by Kristi D. Fisher

Associate Vice Provost and Director,

Office of Information Management & Analysis

The University of Texas at Austin

  • Information Management at UT Austin
  • “Project IQ”
  • Demo Specific Academic Cubes and Reports
    • Course Enrollments
    • Teaching Activities
    • Student Demographics
    • Faculty Demographics
    • Faculty Workload
    • Formula Funding
    • Graduation and Retention Rates
the university of texas at austin
The University of Texas at Austin
  • 51,000+ students
  • 12,000 degrees awarded annually
  • 17 colleges
  • 2,500 faculty, 14,000 staff
  • $2+ billion budget
  • $460+ million research funding
information management analysis ima
Information Management & Analysis (IMA)
  • Statutory / Required Reporting
    • Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB)
    • IPEDS
    • Legislative Budget Board
    • NCAA
  • Accountability Systems
    • THECB
    • UT System
  • Data Sharing Consortia (AAU Data Exchange) for Comparison / Benchmarking Data
information management analysis ima5
Information Management & Analysis (IMA)
  • Institutional Task Force / Committee Support
    • Formula Funding Task Force
    • First Year Support Programs Working Group
    • Gender Equity Task Force
    • Transfer Student Working Group
    • Task Force on Enrollment Strategy
  • Ad-hoc Data Support to Executive Officers (white papers, speeches, legislative issues)
  • Ad-hoc Requests for Information from Media, General Public, Researchers, etc.
  • Response to Surveys and Rankings
    • USN&WR, NRC Doctoral Programs
information management analysis ima6
Information Management & Analysis (IMA)
  • Online Information Systems:
    • FaSET 12th Class Day System
    • ISFACL – Facilities Reporting System
    • Faculty Prior Approval Request Document
    • HRMS Faculty Positions
    • Faculty Rosters / Separations / Elections / Credentialing
    • Faculty Workload
  • Faculty Database and Processes
  • *** Extensive Batch Processing and Reporting ***
  • New Web Site (for more self-service information delivery)
information management analysis ima7
Information Management & Analysis (IMA)
  • Enterprise Data Warehouse Support:

“IQ/PBIS” – stewardship, business requirements, data sourcing, validation, analysis

    • Course Enrollments Cube
    • Student Demographics Cube
    • Teaching Activities Cube
    • Faculty Demographics Cube
    • Formula Funding Cube
    • Faculty Workload Cube
    • FTIC Retention and Graduation Rates Cube
    • Faculty Instructional Summary Report
    • Simultaneous Majors Report
    • Student Flow / Progression Reports
    • and much, much more….

Office of Information Management and AnalysisOrganizational Chart – February 2, 2010

Assoc. Vice Provost and Director, Information Management & Analysis

Associate Director for Reporting

Associate Vice President

Senior Admin. Associate

Assistant Directorfor Research

Assistant Director for IT Services

Assistant Director Faculty Information

Business Analyst

Business Analyst (IQ)

Research Analyst

Research Analyst

Senior Systems Analyst

Senior Systems Analyst

Office Assistant

Research Analyst

Systems Analyst

Systems Analyst

B.I. Developer

Research Analyst

Information Analyst

Information Analyst

iq information quest is
IQ - Information Quest is…

…a business intelligence initiative

that provides accurate and flexible analytical tools and management information to support University leaders in data-driven decision making.

Initiative was started by our VP for Financial Affairs.

Phase I = Financial Information

why ut austin began iq
Why UT Austin Began IQ
  • We are data rich, but information-starved
    • We have reliable transaction systems but weak reporting
    • The information we need to analyze is in transactional databases, which are not usable for analysis
    • Coded data requires interpretation
  • Programmers required to extract and format information
  • Process to retrieve information can be time-intensive
IQ …

Gives University leaders the information they need in the way they want it …

  • Tools for reporting and analysis
  • Quick extraction of data without custom programming
  • Systematically updated data
  • Flexible formatting of data
  • Appropriate security
what information goes into iq

Financial Info

Student Info

Alumni/Donor Info


Human Resources Info

What Information Goes into IQ?

Research Info

Faculty & PBIS info

benefits for decision makers
Benefits for Decision-Makers
  • Easily access trend information
  • Evaluate outcomes for specific populations – vary the characteristics (criteria) that define the population
  • Efficiently answer strategic questions without programmer intervention
  • “Single version of the truth” – consistent definitions across campus facilitate comparison to other colleges
  • Monitor and manage strategic performance initiatives
  • Investigate data to identify trends that have meaning in light of college initiatives
what is cognos
What is Cognos?

Cognos Business Intelligence software runs on a series of servers that you access with you internet browser. Cognos lets you:

Analyze your data in many different ways, at many different levels, and create charts and graphs quickly and easily…

…with the click of a mouse!

how does iq work
How Does IQ Work?

The products of IQ are “cubes” and reports.

project process
Project Process
  • Requirements Determination – Circle Diagram Session
  • Load all related data
  • Validate
  • Cleanse
  • Develop cubes and reports
  • Validate and cleanse
  • User acceptance testing
  • Develop training curriculum
iq data integrity
IQ Data Integrity

Legacy Systems (original)

  • Four – way data validation:
    • Mainframe to Mainframe
    • Mainframe to Oracle
    • Oracle to Cubes
    • Cubes to Mainframe

Legacy Systems (revised)




Student Cube

ORACLE (warehouse)

Faculty Cube

Enrollment Report

information quest iq tools
Information Quest (IQ) Tools
  • ETL tools: IBM Data Stage; Treehouse tRelational / DPS
  • RDBMS: Oracle 9i/10g, SQL-Server
  • O/S: Sun Solaris RAC, IBM Z/OS, Windows 2003
  • BI tools: Cognos Powerplay 7.4, Impromptu 7.4, Cognos 8.2/8.3 (new)
  • Named User Accounts: 1,250
iq pbis process business rules
IQ / PBIS ProcessBusiness Rules
  • Example of Business Rules (give handout)
project approach
Project Approach
  • Focus on business questions to answer
  • Collaboration between IQ team, data stewards and college deans/VP’s
  • Business not IT project
  • Proof of concept must capture essential business questions with actual business data
  • Shorten time-to-market for analytical needs
  • Under-promise and over-deliver
project iq structure
Project IQ Structure

Phase 1 Subcommittee

Phase II Subcommittee

roles of the b i data steward
Roles of the B.I. Data Steward
  • “Owns” the data
  • Maintains source systems & databases
  • Drives /determines business requirements
  • Identifies / developss data sources
  • Determine data definitions, joins
  • Validates data transfer, cubes, reports
  • Develops reports
  • Creates and maintains business rules, FAQ’s, training materials, etc.
phase ii iq pbis
Phase II = “IQ/PBIS”

Information to Support the Performance Based Instruction Systemand…

  • Course and Instruction Planning
  • Enrollment Management
  • Strategic Discussions with EVPP/Pres
  • Accountability Systems
iq pbis process business questions
IQ / PBIS ProcessBusiness Questions
  • What percent of our undergraduate courses are taught by professional faculty? By senior lecturers, visiting or clinical faculty, lecturers and specialists?
  • How many TA’s are needed? How are they being used? How many faculty do I have in each department that need TA support?
  • What programs does course “GOV 310" draw students from? What majors is this course serving?
  • How can we best utilize the space we have to offer enough classes? What percent of seats were taken for each course? Were room sizes commiserate with enrollment?
  • How much formula funding is potentially foregone due to class/student level mismatches? Due to repeatability? Excess hours?
iq pbis process business questions cont
IQ / PBIS ProcessBusiness Questions (cont.)
  • How do we effectively evaluate classes? Is there some correlation between evaluation results and class size, the use of technology, faculty rank, etc…?
  • What are our 4-year graduation rates? How do they change if we exclude special classes of students (such as those in 5-year programs)?
  • How can we best manage enrollment? What is the impact of readmissions? SCH in excess of requirements? Admissions under CAP?
  • What is our student/faculty ratio by student level?
  • What are the indicators/predictors of success for students from specific subpopulations? To what extent are our first-year support programs effective in improving student success?


iq pbis subject areas
IQ/PBIS Subject Areas
  • Course Enrollments
  • Teaching Activities
  • Faculty Workload
  • Faculty Demographics
  • Student Demographics
    • Graduation and Retention Rates
  • Instructional Cost / Budgeting
    • Affordability
    • Formula Funding
  • Course Completions / Output / Evaluations
  • Progress to Degree / Degrees Awarded
  • Facilities Utilization / Planning
  • Admissions
cubes and reports under development
Cubes and Reports Under Development


  • Transfer Graduation & Retention Rate
  • Graduate Graduation & Retention Rate
  • Affordability
  • Faculty Tenure-Track Progression
  • Degrees Awarded


    • Student Success by Sub-Population (First Gen, etc.)
    • Time to Degree
    • DFW Rates for STEM Courses
access and security
Access and Security
  • Authorizations and training are requested by the IQ/PBIS Dean’s Office Contact for each college.
  • Must have a Cognos account.
  • Each account is put into a user class,and the user class is authorized for reports and cubes.
  • All authorizations are “Institutional” view
  • Must attend training for subject areas to have access
  • Must acknowledge Statement of Appropriate Use to have access…
statement of appropriate use https utdirect utexas edu iq aboutiq wbx
Statement of Appropriate Usehttps://utdirect.utexas.edu/iq/aboutiq.WBX
  • Purpose of IQ/PBIS is to provide academic management information to university administrators
  • Not to be used for personal knowledge or gain
  • Authority to grant access rests with Dean or VP
  • Every user must attend training and acknowledge this Statement of Appropriate Use
  • IMA provides “official” University info to THECB, Legislature, etc.
  • Refer responses to external requests follow university policy (Public Info. Act, FERPA, etc.)
  • Responses to internal requests are at Dean or VP discretion
  • Remember the sensitive nature of individually identifiable data
  • On-site and/or individualized training
  • College information sessions
  • Established dean’s office contacts
  • Incorporating project into established academic performance initiatives (Provost’s and President’s Offices)
more time for decisions

Analyze & Interpret

Consider Options




Information Gathering





More Time For Decisions
pulse check
Pulse Check
  • Is anyone using them?
  • Are you addressing the correct business questions and business questions correctly?
  • Can you show ROI?
  • What is the Single Version of Truth?
  • How is the quality of data ensured?

Kristi D. Fisher

University of Texas at Austin

Office of Information Management and Analysis