The AAIR DW SIG was held in the Blue Mountains and provided a great opportunity to meet likeminded professionals in the higher education space to hear the challenges, projects and developments occurring at other institutions.
We heard from a number or presenters which included:
ALTIS – University of New England
UNE showcased their sentiment Analysis Project. They largely have a transient student cohort and rarely see their students so it was important that they use online information to determine the student engagement. The Automated Student Wellness Engine (AWE) uses triggers to indicate a student’s wellbeing and thus identifying students that fall below a given index are targets to reach out to.
Data Warehouse Automation – MIP
MIP presented an agile data warehousing approach through data warehouse automation. DWA covers the following aspects
- Automated source system discovery, target schema design and validation
- Automated generation of target schema and ELT code
- Automated testing for compliance and change
- Automated generation / management of BI metadata
- Automated documentation and lineage
The presenter compared DWA as a revolution, similar to that where the automotive industry assembly lines were automated through robotics.
More information can be found at:
ANU Sharon Bainbridge – Establishing a BICC
Spoke about the challenges in being able to establish a BICC at ANU and addressed the hurdles associated with that journey. The focus was on what is a BICC and why you need it along with the executive sponsor and strong stakeholder engagement.
Newcastle University Tony Blanch – A collaborative Approach to BI
Tony spoke about the importance of cross collaboration when establishing BI within any organisation. He spoke about starting out by focusing on the low hanging fruit to get buy-in and build from there and engage with the University community.
Uni of Sydney Darren Dadley and Paul Lui
Showcased the last 2 years work at University of Sydney. The current designs mainly focussing on strategic reporting but now going down into the details, especially for Research.
Shirley Alexander – Keynote – Deputy Vice Chancellor Learning and Teaching UTS
A very interesting presentation that went through a variety of aspects and initiatives at UTS. Shirley referred to the University of Purdue http://www.purdue.edu/ and the Data Information Literacy group http://wiki.lib.purdue.edu/display/ste/Home and demonstrated the importance of acting on signals.
Luke Rowlet – Flinders University
Luke spoke of Flinders University’s BICC being able to develop an incremental data warehouse through an agile project methodology. He specifically referred to Kanban which is a method for managing knowledge work with an emphasis on just-in-time delivery while not overloading the team members. In this approach, the process, from definition of a task to its delivery to the customer, is displayed for participants to see and developers pull work from a queue. He mentioned the value of the Kanban board to keep the project team focused and continued incremental deliverables. Another advantage is that the incremental deliverables are fully completed packages from design to implementation allowing for an agile approach.
More information at:
Millie Taylor – University of New England
UNE spoke of their journey over the last two years in redeveloping their data warehouse since a number of significant members had left their team. It was a new team requiring a review of existing technologies. In summary they have done away with Cognos and moved to SQL Server Analysis Services delivered through SharePoint. Existing ETL jobs and data warehouse design redeveloped from the ground up to cater for the current business environment and the new tool set.
Southern Cross University – Julie Arthur
Focussed on Quality Assurance and the need to utilise external data with internal data processes especially with reference to PRISMS and MRT (migration Review tribunal). The MRT database airs the dirty laundry of institutions especially when complaints are made from international students. With the introduction of streamlined Visa processing there is a strong focus for managing agents and the performance of students when they arrive.
QUT – Daniel Mockler
Showcased the interesting a simplistic layout of strategic information on a web page rather than through a portal. It looks simple, easy to navigate and relevant information seamlessly.
They also went into significant details showing
- Geospatial capability
- Mobile deployments
- And a live demonstration that made the solution look very impressive
UWS Terry Gozard – Text Analytics
Showcased how UWS is using text analytics for qualitative analytics to extend the value of the quantitative information. With over 120,000 open ended responses being analysed using IBM SPSS. It also highlighted the many challenges with this and the fact that one word ‘assignment’ was represented by over 200 differing occurrences. Focusing on what students are saying is an important area to focus on.